Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from coastal areas of southern China as a strong typhoon moves toward the mainland, bringing powerful winds and heavy rain.

Typhoon Mujigae was heading gradually toward the Leizhou Peninsula in Guangdong province on Sunday morning, just north of the resort island of Hainan.

Packing winds of 180 kilometers (112 miles) per hour at its center, Mujigae was moving northwest at about 20 kph (12 mph) and was expected to make landfall on Sunday afternoon.

Heavy rain is expected for both Guangdong and Hainan, where thousands of Chinese have flocked during the weeklong National Day holiday.

More than 60,000 fishing boats have returned to port in the two provinces and more than 40,000 fishermen working on fish farms have moved to shelters.