China and Taiwan are facing the most powerful typhoons this year

  • Typhoon Toxuri is forecast to make landfall in southern China on Friday
  • The storm is expected to pass over Taiwan and the Philippines
  • Toxuri may affect autumn cereal crops inland in China

BEIJING/TAIPEI, July 25 (Reuters) – China urged fishing boats to seek shelter and farmers to speed up their harvests as Taiwan suspended annual military drills as super typhoon Toxuri approaches East Asia and reaches deep into China.

Doksuri will be the most powerful typhoon to make landfall in China so far this year’s typhoon season. China narrowly escaped Typhoon Mawar, one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record for May, which headed towards China but then moved north towards Japan.

Toxuri, which is nearly 1,000 km (620 miles) in diameter, is expected to pass the sparsely populated islands off the northern tip of the Philippines by mid-week, while strong winds and heavy rain will batter Taiwan to the north.

Philippine authorities have already raised storm warning levels in the capital region and dozens of northern provinces, and have begun evacuating some coastal communities in the storm’s path.

Typhoon Daxuri, currently packing winds of 138 mph (223 km/h), will make landfall on the Chinese mainland between Fujian and Guangdong provinces on Friday, China’s National Meteorological Center said on Tuesday.

Although Toxuri is expected to lose some strength and land as a typhoon or severe typhoon, it will still hammer densely populated Chinese cities with torrential rain and strong winds.

Fujian ordered all offshore fishing boats to shelter in a nearby port Wednesday afternoon and told farmers to harvest their rice and other mature crops.

Worried about autumn grain crops, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs warned on Monday that Doksuri could move deep inland after making landfall, affecting high-stem crops such as corn and rice in rural areas.

After the storm passes, land without broken stems should be quickly straightened and waterlogged fields should be drained in time, and fast-acting fertilizers should be used to restore vegetation quickly, the ministry said.

Some trainings were cancelled

Taiwan canceled some of its annual military exercises on Tuesday due to security concerns amid what officials say could be the worst typhoon to hit the island in nearly four years.

It was not immediately clear how the typhoon might further affect the island-wide five-day “Han Guang” exercise this week, focused on protecting the island’s main international airport and keeping sea lanes open in the event of a Chinese blockade.

Beijing has never shied away from using force to bring the democratically-ruled island under its control. Taiwan rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims and has vowed to defend its independence and democracy.

Taiwan’s Meteorological Bureau issued marine and land warnings for the southern Pingtan district and urged communities to brace for heavy rain and strong winds.

In the southern port city of Kaohsiung, authorities rushed to collect hundreds of containers floating in the sea after the container ship Angel sank off Taiwan’s southwest coast last week.

“Taiwan has not seen a typhoon make landfall in more than 1,400 days, which is why I urge all government ministries to prepare and prepare,” Prime Minister Chen Hsien-jen said in a post on Facebook.

“I want to remind citizens not to underestimate storm threats.”

Reporting by Ryan Wu in Beijing and Yimo Lee in Taipei; Additional reporting by Karen Lema in Manila; Editing by Stephen Coates and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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