China: 18 dead, millions evacuated as typhoon Lekima makes landfall

Fishing boats are docked at the Shenjiamen Fishing Port in preparation for the Typhoon Lekima

Fishing boats are docked at the Shenjiamen Fishing Port in preparation for the Typhoon Lekima

In this August 9, 2019, photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a man uses his mobile phone to record waves crashing on the shore as typhoon Lekima approaches the Shitang Township of Wenling City in eastern China's Zhejiang Province.

China was also hit by a magnitude six natural disaster just a day ago, so experts are warning that this, alongside the typhoon, could cause more landslides due to the unstable ground.

More than 420 armed police and firefighters were dispatched to the scene to help with the rescue work.

A man rides an electric scooter in the rainstorm as Typhoon Lekima begins to make landfall in Shanghai on Saturday.

However, there was no detail of the victims.

The storm had been gradually weakening through the day as it moved northward at 15km/h, Xinhua reported, citing the weather bureau.

Lekima was initially designated a "super typhoon" but it weakened slightly before making landfall with sustained winds of 116 miles per hour.

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China's National Meteorological Center issued an orange alert for Typhoon Lekima on Saturday morning, as it landed in east China's Zhejiang Province.

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

Shanghai Disneyland was also closed for the first time since the amusement park opened in 2016.

Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines were among those announcing cancellations, mainly for flights between Shanghai and Taiwan on Friday, as Typhoon Lekima approached.

More than 250,000 residents in Shanghai and 800,000 in Zhejiang province had been evacuated because of the typhoon.

In Zhejiang province alone, 288 flights were cancelled, and ferry and rail services were suspended as a precautionary measure. Local authorities have assembled rescue teams of almost 1,000 members, with 150 fire engines and 153 boats on call. The typhoon blew down almost 3,000 trees and caused faults of 100 power lines, among which 80 have been restored so far.

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

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