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July 10, 2018

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Fujian braces for Typhoon Maria as Taiwan issues landslide alert

The eastern coastal province of Fujian has activated an emergency response to cope with the approaching Typhoon Maria, the eighth typhoon this year.

The typhoon is expected to strike Fujian tomorrow morning, whipping up gales and high waves, according to provincial meteorological authorities. Winds of up to 37 meters per second are expected in coastal areas with waves of up to 6 meters.

All fishing boats are ordered to return to harbor by this noon and all personnel at offshore fish farms have been asked to retreat to land by 6pm.

All coastal tourist resorts should also be closed by 6pm today.

Before reaching Fujian, the storm will bypass or brush northeastern Taiwan early tomorrow.

Ferries were suspended and farmers rushed for last-minute harvests yesterday as Taiwan braced for Typhoon Maria, with warnings of possible mudslides and flooding as the storm nears.

Maria was 1,100 kilometers east-southeast of the island’s capital Taipei with gusts of up to 200km an hour as of 2:30pm local time.

Waves were starting to pound the island’s north and east coasts with the Taiwan weather bureau predicting the typhoon’s impact would be strongest tonight and tomorrow morning.

“We urge the public to be vigilant and to cooperate with any preventive evacuation,” said a Taiwan official Yeh Jiunn-rong. No evacuations have taken place so far but Yeh warned that heavy rains posed the risk of floodwaters and mudslides.

Taiwan authorities announced that more than 30,000 soldiers would be on standby to help with disaster prevention.

The typhoon would not make a direct hit if it continued on its current trajectory, which would see it skim Taiwan’s northern tip, according to the weather bureau.

The bureau urged the public to avoid water activities and warned fishing boats to take precautions in a sea warning issued for yesterday afternoon.

Dozens of ferry services to offshore islands were suspended. Local television footage also showed farmers rushing to harvest fruit and vegetables ahead of the typhoon.

Taiwan is frequently hit by typhoons in the summer. Last year, more than 100 people were injured when Typhoon Nesat battered the island, causing flooding and widespread power outages.


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