Red alert issued ahead of Typhoon "Lekima" landfall in China's Zhejiang Province

Red alert issued ahead of Typhoon

Typhoon "Lekima" strengthened into a Category 4 Super Typhoon late August 7, 2019, before moving over over Japan's southern Ryukyu Islands. It's now weakening on its way toward eastern China. Landfall is expected in the coastal areas of Zhejiang Province, China late August 9 into August 10 (UTC).

A red typhoon warning has been issued for the coast of Taiwan, Hangzhou Bay, Yangtze River Estuary, coastal regions of Zhejiang, Shanghai and southern Jiangsu, China, while a red warning for heavy rain, strong wind, high waves and storm surge is in effect over the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan.

The center of the tropical cyclone moved between Miyakojima and Ishigakijima, Japan after 11:00 UTC, August 8, producing wind gusts to 124 km/h (77 mph) and 112 km/h (73 mph), respectively.

Video courtesy CIMSS

Lekima then moved north of Taiwan and is now weakening as it closes in on eastern China.

At 06:00 UTC on August 9, its center was located about 230 km (149 miles) NNE of Taipei, Taiwan, tracking NE at 18 km/h (11 mph). According to the JTWC, its wind speed was 195 km/h (120 mph) and gusts to 240 km/h (150 mph).

According to the 09:00 UTC, August 9 JTWC forecast track, Lekima should make landfall in Zhejiang Province by 18:00 UTC today, with wind speeds of 150 km/h (93 mph) and gusts to 185 km/h (115 mph). It should then turn N and move to the west of Shanghai.

Typhoon "Lekima" at 08:50 UTC on August 9, 2019. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, CIRA/RAMMB

Typhoons Lekima and Krosa at 08:50 UTC on August 9, 2019. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, CIRA/RAMMB

On August 7, China's Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters issued a circular to seven provinces including Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangsu and Shanghai Municipality, asking related authorities to launch emergency response systems in time and be well prepared prior to the landfall of the typhoon so as to reduce potential damages.

Zhejiang will be most heavily impacted by the typhoon with extreme gusts hitting the surrounding waters near the typhoon eye, said Ling Zhifeng, deputy head of Zhejiang's disaster prevention and relief office. Shanghai will see intense rainfall from Thursday to Sunday, August 11 and strong gusts across its coastal area, according to the city's meteorological department.

Intense storm surge is expected to strike the estuary of the Yangzte River, China's longest river, from August 9, according to Changjiang Water Resources Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources. 3 main streams of the Yangzte River are likely to exceed alert levels and the commission calls for efforts to prevent waterlogging and floods.

Rainstorms will last from Saturday night until next Monday, but they will help ease drought concerns and replenish reservoirs, meteorologists said.

China's National Meteorological Center issued a red typhoon alert on August 9, advising businesses and schools in affected areas to close. 4 900 fishing boats in Zhejiang's Taizhou city have returned to ports and scenic spots have been shut, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Shanghai Railway has suspended all trains on 16 routes, mainly between Shanghai and Guangzhou, until Sunday. A further 29 routes between major southwestern cities such as Chengdu and Chongqing will also be suspended over the weekend, China Railway Chengdu Corporation announced.

Featured image: Typhoon "Lekima" at 08:50 UTC on August 9, 2019. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, CIRA/RAMMB

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