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158,000 evacuated as S China braces for Typhoon Utor

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-14 19:31

GUANGZHOU - More than 158,000 people in southern China have been relocated as authorities in the provinces of Guangdong and Hainan prepare for the arrival of Typhoon Utor.

The island province of Hainan has relocated 98,000 people, and 60,215 people have been relocated in Maoming city, Guangdong province, which is likely to be hit hard by the typhoon, local authorities said Wednesday.

People forced to relocate mainly include the elderly and those residing in fishing vessels, makeshift shelters and other unstable structures.

Authorities in Maoming, where a strong typhoon in 2010 left more than 100 dead and missing, have ordered all fishing vessels to return to port.

Meanwhile, all 26,926 shipping boats in Hainan have returned to port to take shelter from the storm.

Locals are advised to stay indoors, and authorities are also closely monitoring reservoirs for potential hazards.

Utor, the 11th typhoon and also the strongest to hit China this year, is expected to make landfall on the western coast of Guangdong sometime between Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday evening, then it will move onto Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Wednesday night and linger there for about four days.

The typhoon is forecast to bring heavy rains and strong gales to southern coastal regions.

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