BEIJING, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from coastal areas in the path of Typhoon Megi in southeast China, disaster relief authorities said Thursday.
More than 150,000 people in Fujian Province had been evacuated, and 53,100 fishing boats have been recalled to port, provincial flood control authorities said.
Megi is forecast to make landfall on the east coast in Guangdong Province around Saturday, according to the Fujian Provincial Meteorological Department.
Authorities have issued a red warning, the highest of four warnings, that the typhoon could cause huge waves that could devastate coastal sea areas, including Guangdong, Fujian and the Taiwan Strait.
The red warning gives local authorities six hours to evacuate residents at risk and implement storm precautions, and order schools, shops and airports to close and all vessels to return to port.
Meanwhile, the State Oceanic Administration has issued a yellow storm surge warning, which gives local authorities 12 hours to prepare for a storm, reporting that waters in Dongshan, Chongwu and other tidal stations in Fujian Province will exceed or approach the warning levels.
"The storm surge could be so devastating that buildings, docks, villages and cities could be destroyed by it," said Bai Yiping, director of South China Sea Forecasting Center of the State Oceanic Administration.
Megi could cause a "50-year storm surge" if it landed as a severe typhoon on the coastal areas in Guangdong, Bai said.
The State Oceanic Administration and other government agencies have ordered efforts to strengthen seawalls and protect fishing facilities, and to patrol risk areas.
Megi is the 13th typhoon and possibly the strongest to hit China this year. Southern provinces, including Hainan, Guangdong, and Fujian, are bracing for heavy rains and strong winds.