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    Tropical Storm Nanmadol Hits Taiwan, Heads for China

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    NTDTelevision

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    Typhoon Nanmadol has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it heads for mainland China after drenching southern and eastern Taiwan. Local authorities in southern China have ordered more than 26 thousand fishing vessels back to harbor as the storm approaches.

    Downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm, Nanmadol is heading for southern China after sweeping across southern and eastern Taiwan on Monday.

    The storm forced thousands to flee their homes, closing businesses and disrupting transportation.

    Taiwan's central weather bureau maintained a heavy rain and strong wind warning for the island, forecasting rainfall in excess of 13 inches in a 24-hour period.

    Taiwan's government put 35,000 soldiers on standby and evacuated 8,000 residents, mostly in the island's rural, mountainous southeast, ahead of the storm.

    In the worst affected area, the southernmost county of Pingtung, TV stations showed footage of emergency teams carrying residents from homes waist-deep in water.

    In mainland China, evacuations in some coastal areas started late Sunday, state media reported.

    Chinese state television CCTV showed footage of hundreds of boats moored up in eastern Fujian province as local authorities called more than 26 thousand fishing vessels back to harbor.

    Nanmadol's arrival on the east coast was set to coincide with a high tide and could produce waves more than 11-feet high, China's Xinhua news agency reported.