Heavy rains pound fishing boats docked at Daxi harbour in the city of Yilan, as Typhoon In-Fa approaches the northeast coast of Taiwan on July 23, 2021. AFP
A typhoon is forecast to bring heavy rains to Taiwan and coastal China over the weekend, days after the worst flooding on record in a central Chinese province caused at least 51 deaths.
Forecasters say Typhoon In-fa is moving toward China and expected to make landfall in Zhejiang province either Sunday afternoon or early Monday morning.
Zhejiang's bureau of emergency management said on its microblog Friday that it is raising its risk warning to the second-highest level and calling on all localities to take preventative measures. Those usually include recalling fishing boats to port and relocating people living in vulnerable coastal communities.
Fujian province to the south has issued similar orders.
On its current track, the eye of the typhoon is expected to pass north of Taiwan while still bringing considerable rain to the island.
The forecast follows flooding earlier this week in the central province of Henan as rivers and reservoirs overtopped their banks. The 51 deaths reported included 12 people who were trapped by rising waters in the subway system in the hard-hit provincial capital of Zhengzhou.
State media said all the deaths had been recorded in Zhengzhou, although other parts of Henan have also been hit by flooding. Nearly 400,000 people were displaced in the city of 12 million that is a major hub for industry and transportation, and losses were estimated at around $10 billion.
At noon, In-fa was about 370 kilometers (230 miles) east of the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, moving north-northwest at about 12 kilometers (7 miles) per hour, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.
Rain fell intermittently in northern Taiwan on Friday, interrupted by periods of sunshine. Authorities prepared for high winds by securing large advertising signs atop buildings and discouraging people from approaching the ocean to view large waves or catch fish.