China evacuates 1.58 lakh people as Typhoon Soundelor advances

Beijing: China has evacuated over 1.58 lakh people as Typhoon Soundelor, stated to be the worst since 2009, is advancing towards the country's Southeast Fujian Province where it is expected to make a landfall today. The Fujian Province located on the coast of the Taiwan straits evacuated people as the 13th typhoon of the year is expected to land on its coast, local media reported.

Soudelor, currently battering Taiwan, is moving northwestward at a speed of more than 200 kilometres per hour. The evacuees, mostly aquatic farm workers, have been transferred to safe inland locations, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Marine police rescued 55 university students and teachers from a small island in the province yesterday.

They were attending summer camps but strong gales disrupted all ferry services, leaving them trapped on the islet.

Marine police set out for the island at noon and brought all 55 people back to shore four hours later.

The province ordered all fishing boats to return to harbour by 10 am yesterday as gales were predicted later in the day.

Authorities in the neighbouring province of Guangdong have also ordered fishing boats and aquatic farm workers to return to shore.

Seaside tourist destinations in eastern Guangdong have been temporarily closed.

The typhoon is expected to disrupt train and air services. About 120 trains, mostly running from Shanghai to major cities in Fujian and Guangdong, will be cancelled over the weekend.

Airports have grounded flights bound for provincial capital Fuzhou and other cities in the province. China has a four-tier warning system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

The National Meteorological Centre first issued a yellow alert for the typhoon on Thursday morning and changed it to orange on Thursday night.

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