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22,880 fishing boats return as typhoon nears

Updated: 2013-09-21 09:04
( Xinhua)

FUZHOU - A total of 22,883 fishing boats in Southeast China's Fujian province have returned to ports to take shelter from typhoon Usagi, local authorities said late Friday.

Meanwhile, 4,082 elderly people, women and children living on rafts in coastal fish farms have been displaced to safety, the provincial ocean and fisheries bureau said in a statement.

In addition, its shipping services to some of Taiwan's regions have been halted.

Usagi, which has strengthened into a super typhoon, is expected to hit the eastern coast of Fujian's neighboring province of Guangdong some time between Sunday afternoon to Monday morning.

Usagi's center was 370 km Southeast of Taiwan's Hengchun at 8 pm Friday, packing a wind speed of 209 km per hour at its center. It was moving northwest at a speed of up to 20 km per hour, said meteorological authorities.

At 5 pm a previous yellow alert for the typhoon was replaced by the orange one, the second highest, according to a statement of the National Meteorological Center (NMC).

The typhoon is forecast to sweep Guangdong from its east to west after making landing, said Zhang Dong, chief weather forecaster of Guangdong provincial meteorological center.

It will bring rainstorms and strong gales to Guangdong starting Saturday.

The center also urged fishing boats in Guangdong to return to ports and local authorities to check makeshift shelters and outdoor billboards for safety loopholes, Zhang said.

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