South China on alert as typhoon Megi approaches   2010-10-19 13:55:56 FeedbackPrintRSS

GUANGZHOU, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Southern China is bracing itself for typhoon Megi, as possibly the strongest typhoon to hit China this year inches toward south China's Guangdong Province.

Megi, meaning "catfish" in Korean, reintensified into a super typhoon at 8 a.m. Tuesday after entering the South China Sea late last night.

It is located 850 kilometers east of Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province, according to the latest report from the Guangdong Provincial Meteorological Administration.

Packing winds of 52 meters per second near its center, the typhoon is heading west northwest at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour.

Although it is too early to accurately tell where and when Megi will make landfall, authorities warned that central and western parts of Guangdong Province are most vulnerable.

The State Oceanic Administration estimates 5- to 7-meter high waves near Guangdong Province over the next 48 to 72 hours.

Authorities have ordered all fishing boats to return to harbor before midnight Tuesday and reservoirs and hydro-stations to be on alert.

Megi dumped heavy rains on Taiwan's Ilan and Hualien Monday, with rainfall expected to reach 1,000 millimeters. Total losses are not yet known.

The typhoon left four dead and six injured in the Philippines while also destroying tons of crops.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs and the State Disaster Relief Commission issued urgent notices Monday to civil affairs departments in regions along China's southern coast -- Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi and Fujian -- ordering them to prepare for rescue and relief operations.

Editor: Deng Shasha
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