HANGZHOU, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's coastal provinces are evacuating tourists, fishermen and residents as Typhoon Trami, the 12th typhoon to hit the country this year, approaches.
Some 1,550 tourists were evacuated from an island in Wenzhou City, in east China's Zhejiang Province, due to strong winds triggered by approaching Trami, local authorities said.
All tourists on islands or off the coast in Ningbo City, also in Zhejiang, have been evacuated and activities at sea were halted as of noon Wednesday.
Trami intensified into a typhoon at 10 p.m. Tuesday. The storm's center was spotted 495 km off the coast southeast of Wenzhou at 7 a.m. Wednesday, packing wind speeds of 118.8 km per hour, said the Zhejiang Provincial Meteorological Observatory.
The storm is expected to make landfall in neighboring Fujian Province late Wednesday night or early Thursday.
Rain and strong gales began to hit coastal areas in Zhejiang on Tuesday night. The areas will see rainstorms from Wednesday evening to Thursday.
Zhejiang's meteorological authorities said the typhoon would bring days of rainfall and alleviate a drought that has been lingering in the province for weeks.
Local flood control authorities warned downpours might trigger landslides since the heat and drought have loosened mountain soil.
The Fujian flood control headquarters told all fishing vessels to return to harbors and maritime fishery workers to evacuate by 6 p.m. Wednesday. Residents in low-lying areas have also been told to evacuate in time.
About 1,600 transportation ships and 37,000 fishing boats have returned to harbors.
Passenger ship services linking Fujian and Taiwan have also been suspended.
All flights linking Fujian and Taiwan were also suspended on Wednesday.
A total of 113 high-speed trains running through Fujian are expected to suspend operation on Thursday, according to railways authorities.
All major large-scale construction projects in coastal areas had been suspended by Wednesday afternoon. Workers have been evacuated to safe places.
Zeng Xiangdong, an aquaculturist in Ningde City, went ashore from his fish farm in the sea on Wednesday noon.
"I come ashore but I am still worried about my properties in the sea," said Zeng, who has a 6,000-square-meter fish farm.
About 6,000 soldiers have been deployed in key flood-prone areas in Fujian.
Trami will likely bring persistent rain and cause "quite large" floods in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said the region's flood control headquarters.
The water level in more than 300 reservoirs has already exceeded flood-alarm levels as the region was drenched by Typhoon Utor last week.
Forty-nine people died and another 11 went missing as a result of natural disasters triggered by Typhoon Utor, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Tuesday.