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More than 70 missing as Typhoon Wutip spreads chaos in South China Sea

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More than 70 missing as Typhoon Wutip spreads chaos in South China Sea

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More than 70 people are missing from three fishing boats which capsized in the South China Sea. Typhoon Wutip has been lashing the region with gale force winds and driving rain all weekend. On Monday it is expected to slam into Vietnam, where 70,000 people have already been evacuated.

In total 171 sailors were on five fishing boats at sea on Sunday when they were caught in the typhoon near the Paracel Islands off the Vietnamese coast. At least 14 were saved in an initial rescue operation.

It is the 21st typhoon in a what has been a particularly destructive season for the region, and Vietnam is expected to evacuate a further 140,000 people on Monday from the four most-at-risk central districts.

Forecasters say Wutip is the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year, and the authorities are warning of flooding and landslides. Thailand will be affected from Tuesday.