Seventy-four Chinese fishermen were missing after a typhoon in the South China Sea sank three ships, the official Xinhua News Agency reported today.
The boats sank yesterday with 88 fishermen aboard near the Xisha Islands, 330 kilometers (205 miles) south of the southern island of Hainan, Xinhua said, citing the Hainan maritime search and rescue center. Fourteen fishermen were rescued, it said. The islands are also claimed by Vietnam, which calls them Hoang Sa.
China deployed nearby ships to look for the missing fishermen though rescue efforts were hindered by the storm, Xinhua said. President Xi Jinping ordered the military to help in the search, according to Xinhua.
China upgraded its wave warning yesterday to orange from yellow, the second-highest level in its weather warning system, with the approach of the typhoon, dubbed Wutip, Xinhua said. The storm is expected to hit central Vietnam tomorrow, it said.