BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- China's national observatory on Wednesday issued a blue alert for Typhoon Guchol, which is expected to affect waters near southeastern provinces.
At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the eye of Guchol, the 17th typhoon in the region this year, was over water some 400 km southeast of the border of Guangdong and Fujian provinces, packing winds up to 18 meters per second, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said in a statement.
The NMC forecast that Guchol would move northwestward at a speed between 10 and 15 kilometers per hour. It expects the typhoon to reach waters south of the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday evening and then move northward along the strait while growing weaker.
The observatory warned that parts of the South China Sea, as well as waters near the Bashi Strait, the Taiwan Strait and the coast of central Fujian, will experience gales between Wednesday evening and Thursday evening.
The NMC suggested local governments take precautions against possible disasters, and ships in affected areas return to port.
China has a four-tier color-coded system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.