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Dublin: 17°C Sunday 22 May 2022

Almost a million people have been evacuated from China's east coast

Typhoon Chan-hom has made landfall.

China Asia Storms A strong wave breaks over a vehicle along the shore in Wenling Source: Chinatopix Via AP

TYPHOON CHAN-HOM PARALYSED transport links and devastated farmland on China’s eastern coast near Shanghai today after nearly a million people fled the approaching storm, the government and state media said.

No casualties have been reported so far, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China’s National Meteorological Center (NMC) said the typhoon made landfall at in the Zhujiajian province – home to six million people – at around 4:40 pm local time, but gave no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The severe typhoon could be the strongest to hit Zhejiang in any July since 1949, it previously said.

China Asia Storms Workers cut apart a fallen tree Source: Chinatopix via AP

At 3:00 pm , the storm was around 50 kilometres from the Zhejiang coast and packing winds of up to 162 km per hour, said the NMC, which maintained its highest red alert for the typhoon despite downgrading it from “super” to “strong”.

Zhejiang has evacuated around 960,000 people and called its entire fishing fleet back to port, state media said. Provincial authorities said earlier that nearly 30,000 vessels had moored safely.

Typhoon winds blew down trees and street signs across Zhejiang and knocked down an unoccupied building in the city of Cixi, provincial television reported.

China Asia Storm A resident rides a bicycle on a road submerged by water in Xiangshan county. Source: He Yousong/Xinhua News Agency via AP

In Zhejiang’s Sanmen county, local television showed dozens of melons floating in a flooded field, as a farmer lamented his lost harvest. “There might be no crop this year,” he said.

Some parts of Zhejiang were deluged with more than 30 centimetres (12 inches) of rain in the 24 hours before Saturday morning, the local government said. In Taizhou city, rain triggered a landslide which briefly blocked a road.

More than 600 flights at four airports in Zhejiang were cancelled, Xinhua said.

China Asia Storm Cars on a road submerged by water in Sanmen county. Source: Xu Yu/Xinhua News Agency via AP

In Shanghai, the city government maintained its second most serious typhoon alert, urging people to stay home and cancelling several public events as rain picked up towards midday.

“We recommend everyone does their best to use ‘squatting at home’ tactics to welcome the typhoon,” the Shanghai government said in a posting on its official microblog.

More than 400 flights at the city’s two airports were cancelled, along with 330 long-distance bus journeys and several trains, according to reports.

- © AFP, 2015

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