BEIJING – At least 13 people have been killed and one million others evacuated from their homes as Typhoon Lekima hit China.
Another 16 people have also been reported missing after a landslide caused by the storm, the country’s state broadcaster reported on Saturday.
The casualties were recorded in the Zhejiang province, where the storm made landfall in the morning, according to the CGTN channel, which cited local authorities.
A dam broke near the city of Wenzhou triggering the fatal landslide, state media reported.
A 64-year-old man was killed in Taiwan after falling from a tree while trying to prune its branches as a precaution against the typhoon.
State-owned Xinhua agency reported that more than one million people had been evacuated before the arrival of Lekima.
In the Zhejiang province, more than 700,000 people were evacuated, 110,000 of whom were housed in shelters, while another 253,000 were moved to other safe areas in Shanghai.
Lekima, with winds of up to 187 kilometers per hour (116.2 miles per hour), was the most powerful typhoon to hit China since 2014.
The storm has also forced the cancellation of hundreds of ferries and flights, while also cutting off several stretches of railway lines.
The typhoon, the ninth one to hit China this year, made landfall at 1:45 am local time on Saturday near Wenling.
It is expected to hit Shanghai, which is home to more than 20 million people.
The storm is also expected to affect the Anhui, Fujian and Jiangsu provinces.
China’s meteorological authorities said that Lekima will continue heading north at a speed of about 15 kph and will gradually weaken as it goes.
The weather system was given a red alert on Friday – the most severe in the country’s four-color emergency warning system – which was later lowered it to orange, the second level.
Lekima went from being categorized as a super typhoon which was reduced at 5:00 am local time, with winds of up to 144 kilometers per hour.
Shanghai’s Disneyland complex was closed Saturday for the first time since it opened in 2016 due to bad weather, local press reported.