China braces for tropical storm Nock-Ten

July 29th, 2011 - 4:29 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 29 (IANS) Thousands of fishing boats have been ordered to return to the coast as southern China braces for tropical storm Nock-Ten that killed at least 31 people in the Philippines.

More than 26,000 fishing boats in China’s Hainan province have already returned to the port, Xinhua reported Thursday.

The storm, which may strengthen further into a typhoon, was expected to make landfall in the coastal regions of Hainan and Guangdong provinces.

Hainan provincial government said it has ordered all fishing boats to return to the port. It has also ordered the authorities to ensure safety of all reservoirs and evacuation of people from the low-lying areas.

Similar alerts have also been issued by Guangdong authorities.

Shipping services across the Qiongzhou Strait, which separates the Hainan island from the Guangdong province, will be suspended Friday, Hainan maritime bureau said.

Nock-Ten will be the eighth and most powerful storm to hit China this year when it makes the landfall.

At 5 p.m. Thursday, the storms’ centre was 440 km southeast off Hainan’s Wenchang city, packing winds up to 90 km per hour, the National Meteorological Centre said.

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