Fishing boats off the coast west of the Pearl River's estuary were ordered to return to their moorings on Wednesday as South China's Guangdong province braced for the arrival of Haima, the fourth tropical storm to hit the Pacific Ocean's northwest this year.
Haima was expected to make landfall between the province's Taishan and Xuwen on Thursday morning, with winds hitting force scale 8, according to the website of the China Meteorological Administration.
Heavy rain is forecast for central and southern Guangdong, central and southern Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan and southern Yunnan until June 24.
The Guangdong provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters triggered a level-4 emergency response on Wednesday morning and sent teams led by Vice-Governor Liu Kun to western Guangdong to oversee disaster prevention work.
Thirty-one monitoring stations in the Pearl River Delta and elsewhere in Guangdong recorded heavy rainfall on Wednesday, according to the provincial water resources department.
The part of the coast where the storm makes landfall may not be the worst-hit area of the province and efforts should be made to prevent a disastrous aftermath in other regions, with prevention efforts in place to guard against mountain torrents triggered by the possible prolonged rain, said Huang Baiqing, deputy chief of the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.
The office called upon relevant government agencies to evacuate people from disaster-prone areas and make last-minute checks of dams and reservoirs.
The sky was overcast on Wednesday afternoon in Yangdong county in Yangjiang city on Guangdong's coast and all of the 1,172 local fishing boats had returned to the harbor, said Li Yiqin, deputy director of the county's flood, drought and typhoon mitigation office.
"We have evacuated 986 people who live on the lowlands and called back 582 people who had been working on fishing rafts," Li said.
Since Tuesday morning, the maritime radio station out of Maoming city has been broadcasting the location, movement and expected impact of Haima every three hours to the more than 1 million people working at sea or in the aquaculture industry.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
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Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.