Guangdong on alert of tropical storm

GUANGZHOU, June 14 (Xinhua) -- South China's Guangdong Province is on alert Saturday as tropical storm Hagibis is expected to hit its coastal areas within 24 hours.

The provincial weather bureau sounded the first typhoon alarm Saturday morning, saying Hagibis was likely to make landfall in the coastal areas between Guangdong's Shanwei and Xiamen in the neighboring Fujian Province Sunday afternoon.

The bureau said Hagibis, which escalated from a tropical depression on the South China Sea, was about 300 km south of Shantou city at 3 p.m., packing gales of 18 meters per second at its eye.

Hagibis was expected to move northward at 5 to 10 km per hour in the coming 12 hours. Upon its landfall, the storm was likely to sweep at 15 km per hour, the bureau said.

The weather bureau forecast torrential rain in most cities in the east of Guangdong Province Sunday and Monday.

The provincial government of Guangdong has sent alarms via text messages, TV and radio news and social networking sites to subscribers in four cities including Shantou, Shanwei, Chaozhou and Jieyang which are most likely to be attacked by the storm.

Authorities have also warned fishery workers to anchor their vessels and come ashore.