Fishermen reinforce the boats in Ganyu County of Lianyungang City, east China's Jiangsu Province, Aug. 2, 2012. Typhoon Saola and tropical storm Damrey are expected to land on the coast of Jiangsu and Shandong Provinces Thursday night or Friday morning. Defense efforts are underway. (Xinhua/Si Wei)
FUZHOU, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The national meteorological center on Thursday afternoon issued the first red alert this year for approaching typhoones Saola and Damrey, which are expected to make landfall on China's eastern coast.
Red is the highest warning level in China's four-tier weather warning system.
Typhoon Saola, the ninth typhoon of the year, is expected to make its second landfall in coastal areas between northern Fujian province and southern Zhejiang province between Thursday evening and Friday morning, the Fujian Provincial Meteorological Station said.
Saola made its first landfall at 3 a.m. Thursday in Hualien, Taiwan, bringing heavy rains to the island and forcing most schools and offices to close on Thursday.
At 4:10 p.m. Thursday, Zhejiang Provincial Meteorological Station upgraded its yellow alert for Typhoon Saola to an orange alert, the second highest warning level.
In the coastal city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, nearly 60,000 residents, tourists, fishermen and migrant workers have been forced to relocate.
A total of 10,243 ships have returned to harbor to take shelter, the city government said.
In Fujian, a total of 59,337 fishermen and maritime workers have been relocated, the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said.
The Nanchang Railway Bureau said ticket sales for 44 bullet trains linking the cities of Fuzhou, Xiamen and Longyan have been halted due to heavy rains that are expected to accompany the typhoons.
Typhoon Damrey is expected to make landfall in east China's Shandong and Jiangsu provinces from Thursday evening to Friday morning.
The Shandong provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters launched a level two emergency response to typhoon Damrey on Thursday morning.
Gales and heavy rains brought by the typhoon are expected to hit southern Shandong, according to the provincial meteorological station.
The station issued a red alert for typhoon Damrey Thursday afternoon, asking the local government to make full preparations for disaster relief, close schools and businessess and relocate local residents.
It also warned of possible torrential floods and other geological disasters brought about by the heavy rains.
In Jiangsu province, more than 106,000 people have been relocated and 8,142 ships have been called to port, according to Lv Zhenlin, director of the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.
The Shanghai Meteorological Station said the city will likely be hit by both typhoons, with heavy winds, rain and thunderstorms expected to last from Thursday to Friday night.