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200,000 evacuated in China in fear of typhoon

Saturday August 06, 2011 08:23:20 AM, IANS

Beijing: Over 206,000 people in the coastal areas of east China have been evacuated as the region braces for one of the strongest typhoons in years - Typhoon Muifa - that is expected to hit during the weekend.

Muifa is likely to make landfall in Zhejiang province Saturday night or Sunday morning, Xinhua reported citing meteorological authorities.

It would be the ninth typhoon to hit China this year.

Packing winds of up to 162 km per hour near its centre, Muifa is heading northwest at a speed of 10 km to 15 km per hour, officials said.

The storm will bring strong winds and torrential rains in Zhejiang.

The Zhejiang provincial unit of the Communist Party of China has ordered checking of all low-lying and other dangerous places to make sure every one has been relocated.

Zhejiang governor Lu Zushan has ordered stepping up safety precautions for the Qinshan nuclear power plant and local chemical companies.

To brace for the forthcoming typhoon, several coastal cities have temporarily closed tourist destinations and evacuated tourists.

Muifa will probably move further inland after landing, bringing rainfall to more than 10 provinces over an area of one million square km, said Lou Maoyuan, deputy chief of the Zhejiang Provincial Meteorological Station.

The typhoon is expected to last for 11 days before it finally wanes.

The ministry of civil affairs has issued a circular ordering many provinces to monitor the situation closely and carry out disaster relief operations in a timely manner.

Government-run storage bases for relief materials were advised to prepare for the possible dispersal of their materials.

More than 4,000 ships have been called back to harbour in Zhejiang's Ningbo and Taizhou cities. In Fujian, flood control authorities called back more than 5,000 fishing vessels to the city's harbour.




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