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China, Taiwan issue typhoon alerts as Fanapi nears

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:08 a.m. HST, Sep 18, 2010

BEIJING — China and Taiwan warned on Saturday that Typhoon Fanapi is getting stronger before its expected landfall Sunday.

Taiwan issued an alert to island residents that heavy rains and mudslides are possible and warned ships to expect dangerous sea conditions. Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau says Fanapi was about 285 miles (460 kilometers) offshore early Saturday and is likely to make landfall on the island by noon Sunday.

Forecasters expect the typhoon to be a Category 2 storm at landfall on Taiwan with maximum winds between 96 mph (155 kilometers) and 110 mph (177 kilometers).

China's National Meteorological Center says Fanapi could be the strongest the country has seen this year. The typhoon could hit the mainland coasts of the eastern provinces of Guangdong and Fujian on Sunday night or Monday morning.

Fanapi would be the 11th typhoon to hit China this year. Seasonal flooding in China has been the worst in a decade.

Flooding from Typhoon Morakot killed 700 people last August in Taiwan's worst storm in half a century.

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