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20,000 evacuated in Fujian for typhoon Morakot

MORE than 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in southeast China's coast of Fujian Province where strong typhoon Morakot is predicted to land tomorrow.

The provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said this morning that about 34,000 vessels had been recalled to harbors and 21,190 people in the cities of Ningde, Putian and Fuzhou had been relocated to safe areas.

Waves as high as 6 meters were already hitting the coastal area today, and the provincial meteorological observatory said they could reach up to 9 meters as the typhoon came closer.

According to the observatory, the typhoon was 540 kilometers east of Xiapu County of Fujian early today, packing winds up to 144 km per hour at its center.

The provincial government has sent 8.4 million text messages to mobile phone users, warning people of the typhoon's approach.

The observatory forecast that the typhoon would make a landfall in northern and central Fujian tomorrow and bring heavy rain and strong gales to coastal regions.


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