BEIJING, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from coastal areas in southeast China in the path of Typhoon Megi, disaster relief authorities said Thursday.
More than 150,000 people in Fujian Province have been evacuated and 53,100 fishing boats have been recalled to port, the Fujian Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said.
Typhoon Megi is forecast to make landfall in southern Fujian either Friday night or Saturday morning, Zhang Changping, chief commander of the headquarters, said Thursday afternoon at a meeting on the typhoon.
The forecast landfall point shifted from Guangdong to Fujian as the path the typhoon is taking toward the mainland changed, Zhang said.
The shipping route linking Fujian's Quanzhou and Jinmen in Taiwan was closed Thursday afternoon.
Local authorities have ordered fishermen to stay ashore and managers of dams in populated areas to prepare to discharge water in case of torrential rain.
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, Jiangxi and Fujian, are bracing for heavy rains and strong winds.
Passenger trains suspended as typhoon Megi approaches
HAIKOU, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Railway authorities have temporarily stopped passenger train services into and out of China's southernmost island province of Hainan, as it braces for typhoon Megi.
All trains setting off from Sanya, the provincial terminal for transprovincial trains, to other provinces from Oct. 19 to 21 have been canceled, while trains heading from other provinces to Sanya will stop at Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, which is to the north of Hainan. Full story
Pagasa not discounting possible return of Typhoon Megi
MANILA, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) is not discounting the "possibility" that Typhoon Megi may make a U- turn back to the Philippines, a high Pagasa official said on Tuesday.
Pagasa Officer-in-Charge Graciano Yumul Jr. made the statement in a Palace news briefing, when asked about the possible implication of the presence of obstructions along the typhoon's pathtwo high pressure areaswhich has kept it from completely leaving the Philippine area of responsibility.