Tourists dodge waves in Huagang Village of Dongtou County, Wenzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, July 10, 2015. China is on highest alert as super typhoon Chan-Hom approaches the eastern coast at high speeds. The National Meteorological Center issued a red alert on Friday morning for Chan-Hom, whose center was spotted 550 km southeast off the coast of Zhejiang Province at 5 a.m. (Xinhua/Han Chuanhao)
HANGZHOU, July 10 (Xinhua) -- China is on highest alert as super typhoon Chan-Hom approaches the eastern coast at high speeds.
The National Meteorological Center issued a red alert, the highest level of alert, on Friday morning for Chan-Hom, whose center was spotted 430 km southeast off the coast of Zhejiang Province at 2 p.m.
The typhoon is moving northwestward from the East China Sea at a slower speed of 20 km per hour, but is still strengthening. It is forecast to land somewhere between Rui'an and Zhoushan in Zhejiang Province between Friday night and Saturday noon.
The wind speed at the center of the typhoon is forecast to top 58 meters per second at landfall.
In Zhejiang, more than 220,000 people have been evacuated and 20,000 fishing vessels returned to harbor for shelter. The province upgraded its emergency response by two levels to prepare for the typhoon.
The storm has disrupted traffic, and direct shipping routes to Taiwan from Zhejiang have been suspended since Thursday. About 100 flights were canceled Friday and some long-distance buses and trains have been suspended.
The typhoon has brought rains and strong gales to the coastal regions of Zhejiang. Waves as tall as 10 m were observed in the sea off the coast.
"The typhoon seems very powerful. We have sealed all our windows and doors and have stored food," said Liu Yimin, a villager in coastal Huagang Village.
Meanwhile, the Wenzhou City government has asked all 53,000 flood control staff in the city to stand by over the weekend.
The Fujian provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters ordered all people on coastal fishing farms in Ningde, Fuzhou, Pingtan and Putian to evacuate by 10 a.m. Friday.
Shanghai also issued a typhoon alert on Friday warning of gales starting Friday afternoon and heavy rain on Saturday. Local authorities have evacuated residents and called off outdoor group activities to avoid potential casualties.
Typhoon Linfa made landfall on Thursday in the southern province of Guangdong, bringing torrential rain to the coast. No casualties have been reported.