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China evacuated 200 000 people from Shanghai as the third typhoon in a week bore down on the east coast, state media said on Tuesday, warning it could be the most powerful storm to hit since 2005.
Typhoon Haikui was expected to make landfall in Zhejiang province, just south of Shanghai, late on Tuesday or early Wednesday, the China Meteorological Administration said.
Like Shanghai, authorities in Zhejiang were rushing to get people out the path of the typhoon, with 130 000 residents evacuated, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Shanghai officials fear the storm could be the worst since 2005, when Typhoon Matsa killed seven people in the city, state media said.
As of Tuesday morning, the typhoon was located roughly 330km south-east of Zhejiang and was forecast to land somewhere between the cities of Ningbo and Wenzhou.
Shanghai has halted rail ticket sales for some coastal lines which might be affected by the typhoon, state media said, while Zhejiang has called more than 30 000 ships back to port.
Haikui was expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds to a number of eastern provinces, including Jiangsu and Anhui, according to the government.
Two other typhoons battered other parts of China over the weekend, killing 23 people, Xinhua said in another report late Monday.
Typhoon Saola left 14 dead in the central province of Hubei while nine people were killed in the northeastern province of Liaoning after Typhoon Damrey struck, it said.
China is hit annually by typhoons in the summer, which normally affect its eastern and southern regions. - Sapa-AFP