BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) -- China has issued an early-warning response for possible disasters from this year's first typhoon, which is approaching the mainland.
Typhoon Nepartak is whirling toward east China's coast and is expected to bring storm surges starting Thursday night, meteorology authorities said.
The National Commission for Disaster Relief and Ministry of Civil Affairs issued the response on Thursday afternoon, warning local authorities to make preparations for disaster relief and asking them to do their best to reduce damages.
The commission urged Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian and Jiangxi to closely monitor the typhoon's movement around the clock and issue warnings in a timely manner. It also asked them to relocate people and harbor ships at sea and tell residents to buy and store survival necessities for one to three days.
Hail and rain have killed 160 people in 11 provincial regions, mainly along the Yangtze River and its distributaries, and have left 28 missing, according to the two authorities.
Floods and landslides have forced the evacuation of 1.84 million people, collapsing 56,000 houses and destroying 560,500 hectares of crops.
Authorities estimated economic losses of 57.85 billion yuan (8.65 billion U.S. dollars).