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Tropical Storm Lekima attacks China 100,000 people evacuates

More than 100,000 people have been evacuated in southern China ahead of Tropical Storm Lekima, state media said Tuesday.

Sluice gates at 17 reservoirs in Hainan province have also been opened to divert possible flooding, Xinhua News Agency quoted a provincial storm and flood control official as saying.

More than 20,000 fishing boats have been recalled to harbor, the spokesman said.

Lekima is forecast to pass by or hit the south of the island late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, Xinhua said.

It is packing winds of about 108 kilometers (67 miles) per hour at its eye and heading northwest at a speed of 10 to 15 kilometers (6 to 9 miles) per hour, Xinhua said.

Late last month, 2.7 million people were evacuated from around Shanghai on China's east coast as a precaution ahead of Typhoon Wipha.

That storm lashed the region with high winds and torrential rains, killing at least nine people and causing direct damage estimated at 6.62 billion yuan (US$880 million; EUR630 million), Xinhua said.