More than 20,000 fishing boats had returned to harbor in the southern island province of Hainan by Wednesday morning as typhoon Cimaron approaches, according to the local government.
All boats were asked to be back in harbor by Wednesday night, according to the provincial flood, drought and wind control headquarters.
The eye of Typhoon Cimaron, the 20th to affect China this year, was about 420 kilometers east of Hainan's Wanning City at 8 AM on Wednesday, packing winds of up to 162 km per hour, said the provincial meteorological observatory.
The typhoon was expected to pass about 100 km to the south of Hainan island on Thursday and land on Vietnam on Friday, according to the observatory.
Heavy rains and gales were forecast for the island province from Wednesday night to Friday, according to the observatory.
Shipping services across the Qiongzhou Strait between Hainan island and the mainland have remained normal so far and rail and air traffic has not been affected, according to the headquarters.
Cimaron, the Philippine word for "wild ox", formed Friday east of the Philippines and has since intensified into a severe typhoon.
(Xinhua News Agency November 2, 2006)