Major typhoon in China: Thirteen dead, one million evacuated

People walk in the rainstorm as typhoon Lekima approaches in Shanghai.
People walk in the rainstorm as typhoon Lekima approaches in Shanghai. Photo credit: Reuters.

Thirteen people have been killed and 16 are missing in eastern China in a landslide triggered by a major typhoon, which also caused hundreds of flight cancellations and the evacuation of more than one million people.

Typhoon Lekima made landfall early on Saturday (local time) in the eastern province of Zhejiang with maximum winds of 187km/h, although it had weakened from its earlier designation as a "super" typhoon, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China's weather bureau on Saturday issued an orange alert, its second highest, after putting out a red alert on Friday, when the storm forced flight cancellations in Taiwan and shut markets and businesses on the island.

The deadly landslide occurred about 130 km north of the coastal city of Wenzhou, when a natural dam collapsed, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

The storm was moving northward at 15km/h and was gradually weakening, Xinhua reported, citing the weather bureau.

High winds and heavy rains battered the financial hub of Shanghai on Saturday afternoon.

Some 625 flights at airports in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu are due to be cancelled, CCTV reported, citing the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Several dozen trains connecting Zhejiang with northern and central China had also been cancelled.

More than 250,000 residents in Shanghai and 800,000 in Zhejiang province had been evacuated due to the typhoon, and 2.72 million households in Zhejiang had power blackouts as strong wind and rain downed electricity transmission lines.