Typhoon Chan-hom swipes eastern China

SHANGHAI: Typhoon Chan-hom swiped eastern China on Saturday, paralysing transport links and devastating farmland as authorities evacuated more than a million people, the government and state media said.


The storm, which killed five people in the Philippines earlier in the week and injured more than 20 people in Japan on Friday, made landfall at around 4:40 pm (0840 GMT) on an island near the city of Ningbo, which is south of Shanghai, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said.

Chan-hom was however expected to skirt the coast before heading back out to sea rather than going further inland.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the storm, which forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights and bus and rail services.

Ningbo, in Zhejiang province, has a population of almost six million people while Zhujiajian town, which took the direct hit from the typhoon, is home to around 36,000.

The NMC maintained its highest red alert for the storm despite earlier downgrading it from “super” to “strong”.

Zhejiang evacuated 1.07 million 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.

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

More than 600 flights at four airports in Zhejiang were cancelled, the official news agency said.

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.

Torrential rain in Taizhou city triggered a landslide which briefly blocked a road.