China’s south battens down hatches as typhoon Mujigae nears

  • Reuters, Shanghai
  • Updated: Oct 04, 2015 11:24 IST
Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from coastal areas of southern China, with a strong typhoon that was moving toward the mainland on Sunday already bringing powerful winds and heavy rain to the region. (AP)

Coastal provinces in southern China braced for typhoon Mujigae set to hit the country on Sunday, with authorities ordering fishing fleets to stay ashore and cancelling flights and rail services.

Typhoon Mujigae will likely hit land around midday, according to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), striking the southern island province of Hainan as well as Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.

Fast winds caused by the approaching typhoon led authorities in Hainan, a popular holiday island, to cancel 68 flights on Saturday and suspend train services, official news agency Xinhua said.

In Hainan and coastal Guangdong province, around 60,000 fishing boats were recalled to harbour to shelter from the storm, Xinhua added. Winds are expected to be around between 162 and 180 km (100-112 miles) an hour.

The CMA, which raised the emergency response level for the typhoon to its second highest level, said Mujigae was 170 km off the coast of Guangdong province around 0730 hours local time Sunday.

The typhoon is likely to disrupt plans for thousands trying to travel during the current week-long public holiday in China. Xinhua said about 80,000 people had travelled to Hainan on Friday.

Meantime, the Philippine coast guard searched for 23 fishing boats with more than 120 fishermen lost when Mujigae hit the main island of Luzon.

Nearly 30 fishing boats with more than 150 fishermen were returning from the South China Sea when Mujigae caught them at sea, the regional disaster and risk reduction agency said in a report on Sunday.

Commander Armand Balilo, coast guard spokesperson, said search-and-rescue ships were scouring the sea west of Pangasian, Ilocos and Zambales after two cargo ships bound for Japan had picked up nine fishermen from a capsized boat.

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