Red alert issued in China as Lekima approaches

Storms Lekima and Krosa as seen on visible satellite

Storms Lekima and Krosa as seen on visible satellite

Heavy rain and Level 10 gales are expected to hit Shanghai on Friday and continue until Sunday, with 16,000 suburban residents set to be moved to safety, the official Shanghai Daily reported.

It's expected to make landfall in nearby Zhejiang province early on Saturday morning, bringing heavy rain and wind to Shanghai over the weekend.

Orange is the second most severe in China's four-tier color-coded weather warning system.

As predicted, Lekima - the 9th typhoon of the season - gained strength over the evening and is now classified as a super typhoon.

Some airlines have cancelled Saturday flights out of Shanghai as a preemptive measure, said the CMA.

The "great evacuation" from the sea was well underway, with ships returning to port and moving to safe areas, the newspaper added. In Taizhou, one of the province's coastal cities, almost all fishing boats docked at the port. High winds and heavy rain were expected during the day, with the typhoon packing maximum sustained winds of 184 kph (114 mph) gusting up to 227 kph (141 mph).

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Swirling in Lekima's wake is Typhoon Krosa, which has intensified into a category two storm headed north towards the larger northern islands of Japan and cities such as Kyoto.

According to reports, the wind speed reached between 202km/h and 220km/h and it is the strongest typhoon this year.

Lekima cut power to more than 40,000 homes in Taiwan, dumped 35 inches of rain on the island-nation, suspended the high-speed rail service and closed many schools and offices.

Transport was affected, with 383 global and 138 domestic flights being cancelled and some ferry services suspended. More than 50,000 homes lost power overnight, though electricity was mostly restored by Friday morning.

The CEOC report also stated that 3,451 households in New Taipei, Hsinchu County, Miaoli County, Taichung and Nantou County were still left without electricity due to Lekima as of 2 p.m. Friday, with fix work ongoing.

Meteorologists suggest potentially affected areas strengthen safety inspections of coastal dikes, rivers and lakes and be prepared to prevent urban floods, landslides and other geological disasters.

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