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Over 953,000 evacuated as Typhoon Morakot approaching

More than 953,000 people in two coastal provinces in east China have been removed to safe places by today as Typhoon Morakot was estimated to make a landfall soon.

More than 473,300 residents of Zhejiang had been relocated and some 35,440 ships called back from the sea, the provincial flood-control headquarters said today.

Weather forecast by the provincial meteorological station said this morning that Morakot was moving at a speed of up to 10 kilometers per hour northwestward from the sea and likely to land on the coast from Wenzhou in Zhejiang to Luoyuan of neighboring Fujian Province, this afternoon or in the evening.

Strong winds and heavy rainstorms are expected to slam most part of Zhejiang following the typhoon landing, according to the weather forecast.

A number of expressways in the province were closed, according to the provincial highway management authority.

Morakot has caused some havoc in neighboring Fujian Province, where more than 480,000 people had been relocated for safety concerns.

Li Saixi, a native of Qiyu Village in Luoyuan County, was busy pumping water out of his basement after a downpour last night.

"The rain gushed into my house at midnight and the water level reached to my thigh at about 2 a.m.", he said.

Owners of coastal aquafarms were fastening production facilities as strong winds pushed up high waves.

Supply of vegetables and seafoods reduced in an outdoor market of agricultural products in Lianjiang County. Dustmen were clearing up streets after strong winds spread rubbish everywhere.

Rainstorms pelted the coastal areas in northern and central parts of Fujian from 8 am yesterday to 5 am today, with rainfall of 300 mm reported in some areas.


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