UPDATE 1-China braces for Typhoon Muifa, 200,000 evacuated

Sat Aug 6, 2011 5:24am EDT

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SHANGHAI Aug 6 (Reuters) - Chinese authorities evacuated more than 200,000 residents from eastern Zhejiang province and cancelled more than 200 flights, as the region braced itself for a typhoon that could be the worst in the area in years.

Typhoon Muifa was due to hit China's eastern seaboard this weekend packing winds up to 45 metres a second (100 mph). News of the typhoon prompted the suspension of operations at several oil, dry bulk and container ports in the area on Friday.

Shanghai cancelled 75 afternoon flights, Hangzhou cancelled 140 flights and Air China cancelled all inbound and outbound flights, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China's National Marine Environmental Forecasting Centre issued a red alert for waves up to 10 metres (33 feet) high in the east China sea.

More than 10 fishing boats with about 200 people on board were missing off China's east coast on Saturday morning, Xinhua reported, though it was unclear if those incidents were related to the typhoon.

Typhoon Muifa will likely land in Zhejiang Province or Shanghai during the weekend and Zhejiang officials have evacuated 206,664 people from coastal areas.

China's meteorological authorities said on Saturday that the typhoon would bring heavy rains to coastal regions. (Reporting by Melanie Lee and Helen Ding; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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