1.1 million people evacuated as typhoon wreaks havoc in China

  • AP, Beijing
  • Updated: Jul 11, 2015 22:50 IST
People gather to see huge waves as typhoon Chan-hom comes near Wenling, east China's Zhejiang province. (AFP Photo)

A powerful typhoon pounded the Chinese coast south of Shanghai on Saturday with strong winds and heavy rainfall submerging roads, felling trees and forcing the evacuation of 1.1 million people.

Typhoon Chan-hom slammed ashore with winds of up to 160 kilometres (100 miles) per hour near Zhoushan, a city east of the port of Ningbo in Zhejiang province. It has dumped more than 100 millimetres (4 inches) of rain since late Friday -- about a month's average in less than 24 hours, China Central Television and the Xinhua News Agency reported.

No deaths or injuries have been reported by Saturday evening.

"It was so windy that the rain came in through the windows even though they were closed," Zhoushan resident Zhang Zhouqun, 53, manager of a logistics company, said in a telephone interview.

The storm felled 10-year-old trees in his neighborhood, stranded cars in 60-centimeter (2 foot) deep water and swamped half the fields, Zhang said. Police barred people from trying to drive. At the urging of local officials, Zhang's family had stocked up a few days' worth of groceries too, he said.

Some 1.1 million people had been evacuated from coastal areas of Zhejiang and more than 46,000 in neighboring Jiangsu province ahead of the storm, Xinhua said. The provincial flood control bureau said 28,764 ships had been ordered back to port.


Farmland is submerged in floodwater amid a heavy storm brought by typhoon Chan-hom in Sanmen, east China's Zhejiang province. (AFP Photo)

The national weather service had said the typhoon might be the strongest to strike China since the communist government took power in 1949. It initially was deemed a super-typhoon but was downgraded at midday Saturday to a strong typhoon and it was weakening further as it progressed inland.

Heavy downpour was reported in some areas, including the village of Lai'ao, which recorded more than 400 millimetres (16 inches) of rain, according to Xinhua.

More than 100 trains and 600 flights were cancelled in the cities of Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou and Taizhou, according to Xinhua. Buses and passenger ferries also suspended service.

Earlier, Chan-hom caused 20 injuries as it moved over islands in southern Japan, the Kyodo news agency reported.

The storm dumped rain on northern Philippines and Taiwan, where several flights were suspended. The stock market and public offices were closed on Friday in Taipei, Taiwan's Capital.

Chan-hom is the second major storm to hit China this week, after Typhoon Linfa forced 56,000 people from their homes in the southern province of Guangdong province.

Read:Typhoon lashes Japan's Okinawa island, Taiwan; heading to China

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