Beijing: Marine disaster warning measures will be tightened for nuclear plants in China's coastal areas as typhoon-triggered storms are predicted this year, according to reports. The estimate was based on historical records of storm surges in China's coastal areas and analyses of recent climate conditions, said Dong Jianxi, an official at the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Centre.

Dong said his office would provide forecast service as precise as possible to ensure the safety of coastal nuclear power plants.

A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system, typically tropical cyclones and strong extra tropical cyclones.

These storms cause high winds that batter the ocean's surface, creating massive waves.

The storm surges will likely result in casualties and property loss, experts said, adding that eastern provinces of Jiangsu and Fujian, as well as Guangdong and Hainan provinces in the south, will be hit hard.

These regions are the home to China's major economic zones, including the Yangtze river delta.

'Storm surges are the most destructive type of marine disasters to hit China's coastal areas,' said Yu Fujiang, the centre's deputy director.

'Data shows that storm surges have been increasing in China since 1949. While there have been no major storm surges in China in the past decade, serious ones will possibly occur over the next decade,' Yu said.