At least 13 dead, 16 missing as Typhoon Lekima slams east China


SHANGHAI, Aug 10, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – At least 13 people were killed and 16
others missing as Typhoon Lekima lashed eastern China Saturday, downing
thousands of trees and forcing more than a million people from their homes.

Waves several metres high hit the coastline as the storm made landfall in
Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai.

Thirteen people were killed and 16 missing in a landslide triggered by
torrential rains brought by the storm, national television reported.

The tragedy occurred in the municipality of Wenzhou, around 400 kilometres
(250 miles) south of Shanghai, CCTV said.

“Torrential rains caused a landslide on a mountain that blocked a river
below,” it said.

The resulting “dam” created a lake which swept downstream when it burst.

More than a million people were evacuated from their homes ahead of the
storm, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Some 110,000 people were
housed in shelters.

The monster storm made landfall in the early hours in Wenling City, packing
winds of 187 kilometres per hour (116 miles per hour), and was expected to
churn up the east coast towards Shanghai, Xinhua added.

Footage broadcast on CCTV showed a torrent of muddy water surging through
the streets and emergency workers rescuing a man trapped under rubble and
fallen trees.

One street in Yueqing city, part of Wenzhou, was shown completely flooded.

China issued a red alert as the storm approached on Friday, before
downgrading the level to orange as winds eased on Saturday morning.

Lekima has been downgraded from a super typhoon to a typhoon as it headed
northwards inland.

More heavy rain was forecast for the Shanghai area and the neighbouring
provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, with authorities warning of
possible flash floods, mudslides and landslides caused by the downpours.

In Zhejiang province alone, nearly 300 flights were cancelled, and ferry
and rail services were suspended as a precaution.

Around 300,000 people were relocated in Shanghai, where the high-speed
maglev train that links the city to one of its airports was suspended.

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

Lekima had earlier swept past the northern tip of Taiwan on Friday, where
nine people were injured, thousands of homes lost power temporarily and more
than 500 flights were cancelled.

Last September, Typhoon Mangkhut slammed into mainland China where
authorities evacuated more than two million people, after it left a trail of
destruction in Hong Kong and Macau and killed at least 59 people in the
northern Philippines.