China has urged fishing boats to seek shelter and farmers to speed up their harvest while Taiwan suspended annual military drills as powerful Typhoon Doksuri spiralled closer to East Asia, potentially reaching deep into China.
Doksuri, which has also been called a super typhoon, will likely be the most powerful to land in China so far in the storm season this year.
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Currently packing top wind speeds of 223kmph (138mph), Doksuri will make landfall on the Chinese mainland somewhere between Fujian and Guangdong provinces on Friday, China’s National Meteorological Information Centre said on Tuesday.
While Doksuri is expected to lose some power and land as either a typhoon or severe typhoon, it will still hammer densely populated Chinese cities with torrential rain and strong winds.
Fujian has ordered all offshore fishing boats to find refuge at the nearest port by Wednesday noon and told farmers to harvest their rice and other crops that have matured.
Concerned about autumn grain crops, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs warned on Monday that Doksuri could go deep inland after landing, affecting high-stalk crops such as corn and even rice in rural areas.
‘Things happen fast’
Nearly 1,000km (620 miles) in diameter, Doksuri is expected to sweep past lightly populated islands off the northern tip of the Philippines by midweek while fierce winds and heavy rain lash Taiwan to the north.
Philippine authorities have already raised storm warning levels in the capital region and dozens of northern provinces, and have begun evacuating some coastal communities in the path of the storm.
Dozens of domestic flights were cancelled, while sea travel has been suspended in affected regions, leaving more than 11,000 people stranded in ports, according to the coastguard.
Taiwan halts drills
On Tuesday, Taiwan cancelled some of its annual military drills for safety reasons as authorities stepped up preparations for what they say could be the most damaging typhoon to hit the island in nearly four years.
Taiwan’s weather bureau issued sea and land warnings for southern Pingtung county and urged communities to brace for heavy rains and strong winds.
In the southern port city of Kaohsiung, authorities were rushing to collect hundreds of containers drifting in the sea after container ship Angel sank off Taiwan’s southwestern coast last week.
“Taiwan has not seen any typhoon making landfall in more than 1,400 days, and that’s why I urge all government ministries that they must gear up and make preparations,” Premier Chen Chien-jen said in a post on Facebook.
“I’d like to remind citizens not to underestimate typhoon threats.”