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Giant typhoon heading for China

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BEIJING: Up to half a million people were expected to be evacuated from their homes in south-eastern China yesterday as the region braced itself for a "giant" typhoon that is expected to make landfall later in the week.

Typhoon Talim was forecast to hit several cities along the central and northern sections of the Fujian coastline, including Fuzhou and Ningde, reported The South China Morning Post, citing the chief engineer at the province's meteorological bureau, Ms Liu Aiming.

She said as many as 500,000 people would receive evacuation notices, though the exact figure was subject to change as the situation was evolving.

Most of the people lived in properties that were unlikely to withstand the high winds, or in areas that were prone to flooding and mudslides, or were close to construction sites where they could be hit by flying debris.

Ms Liu said that school buildings and sports stadiums were likely to be used as temporary shelters.

Talim formed east of the Philippines on Saturday. It has been steadily gaining strength and was likely to pass through Taiwan. It was expected to have grown into a super typhoon by the time it made landfall, the highest level in China's rating system and comparable to a Category 4 or 5 hurricane in the US.