08/07/2009, 00.00
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Typhoon Morakot hits Taiwan and Fujian

Over 20 thousand people evacuated. More than 30 thousand ships brought to port. Stock exchange in Taiwan closed, flights and ferry crossings cancelled. Winds reaching 144 km per hour and the rains classified as "torrential".

Taipei (AsiaNews / Agencies) - More than 20 thousand people were evacuated ahead of the arrival of typhoon Morakot in Fujian Province (southeast China). More than 30 thousand boats and ships were recalled to port out of the typhoon’s path, which should make landfall later today or tomorrow.

This morning typhoon Morakot was registered off the south-east coast of Taiwan (at 8:00 am, local time, it was 200 km southeast of Yilan). The wind strengthening to 144 km per hour and with persistent "torrential” rains.  

In Taiwan, the stock market was closed and naval contact with the Matzu islands cancelled, as well as many flights between Taiwan and China and Taiwan and Hong Kong. The super-speed train that crosses the island is blocked due to the strong wind.

Waves measuring 6 metres in height battered the coasts of Fujian and are expected to reach up to 9 meters later in the day. Throughout this season typhoons, produced in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, regularly hit China, Taiwan, Philippines and Japan. Often, they weaken on making landfall, becoming simple tropical storms.

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