Haiyan, the 30th and strongest typhoon to hit China this year, arrived at 6 pm yesterday at the eastern area of South China Sea, 370 km to the southeast of Sansha city, Hainan, after having wreaked havoc in the Philippines.
It will move northwestward at a speed of 30-35 km per hour, the headquarters said.
The central and southern parts of Hainan and Sansha city are expected to be hit by downpours as Typhoon Haiyan approaches, the headquarters said.
All fishing boats were urged to return to ports by noon yesterday.
As of last night, most had returned, with a few still on their way back, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.
China has a four-tier, colour-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.