Typhoon Neoguri Nears China

April 18, 2008

Weather forecasters in China warned that Typhoon Neoguri could hit southern Hainan Island as early as this afternoon, Friday April 18.

China’s meteorological observatory said Thursday that strong winds and rain will accompany the typhoon, and urged ships and boats to return to shore and coastal area residents to take precautions, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The forecast on Thursday showed the center of Neoguri was 480 kilometers (300 miles) southeast of Sanya city in southern Hainan, packing winds of up to 126 kilometers (78 miles) per hour [IJ note: Later reports indicate the storm has gained strength and is now a Category 2 typhoon with winds up to 95 mph (158 km/h].

The observatory said the center of the typhoon would move northwest at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour and may hit the southern coast of Hainan either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, or else skim over the offshore areas.

The typhoon, which began as a tropical storm in the South China Sea Tuesday, would be the first to hit China this year.

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