South China's Guangdong Province, where strong typhoon Hagupit is expected to land, was getting prepared for this year's 14th tropical storm on Tuesday.
The typhoon was located at about 370 kilometers east of the Zhanjiang city of Guangdong as of 8:00 PM. It packed hurricane force winds at about 180 kilometers per hour in the center while churning westwards at a speed of 30 kilometer per hour, according to the meteorological station of Guangdong.
The observatory forecast that Hagupit would make landfall between Yangjiang and Xuwen in west Guangdong on Wednesday morning or noon.
The provincial government ordered all ships seek shelter in harbor and all people in dangerous areas evacuated.
By Tuesday noon, some 50,884 ships with 184,936 fishermen or crew members returned to docks.
The Yangjiang City has evacuated 17,324 people by Tuesday afternoon, and local governments are busy inspecting reservoirs and dams for timely repair.
In Xuwen, more than 11,000 people were evacuated, and a thorough check-up has been conducted over 110 reservoirs in the county.
The Shenzhen airport cancelled 33 domestic flights on Tuesday, most of which were after 7:00 PM. Officials with the airport said more flights might be cancelled or delayed due to the typhoon. Passengers are encouraged to change a flight or have their tickets returned.
Educational bureau of Haikou, capital city of the island province of Hainan, issued a notice ordering all primary and middle schools as well as kindergartens suspend classes on Wednesday.
In the adjacent Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, local governments were keeping close watch for secondary disasters.
Hagupit would be the second typhoon in a week to affect Taiwan, Fujian and Guangdong, after typhoon Sinlaku lashed the region last Tuesday.
(Xinhua News Agency September 24, 2008)