600,000 people evacuated in China as Typhoon Talim approaches

Up to 600,000 people have been urgently evacuated as Typhoon Talim headed for southern China.

Authorities issued a top-level "black alarm" as heavy rain and moderate gales swept through Fujian province's capital, Fuzhou. A total of 286,000 people were evacuated in the province, and rescue teams were standing by for emergencies, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Just to the north in Zhejiang province, more than 291,000 people were moved away from the coastline, rivers, aging reservoirs, mountain villages and dilapidated housing, according to the official China News Service. More than 29,000 ships and fishing vessels had taken shelter in harbors, its said.

Authorities predicted Talim would reach shore in the afternoon or evening between the Fujian cities of Lianjiang and Jinjiang, about 750 kilometers (460 miles) south of Beijing.

Calls to the Fujian observatory and anti-flooding office rang unanswered Thursday.

Talim left Taiwan's west coast earlier Thursday after heavy winds and rains drowned an elderly man and injured 24 other people on the island.

As the AP reports damage from the storm was largely limited to fallen trees and signboards, although schools, offices and financial markets were closed in most of Taiwan on Thursday.