Asia-Pacific

Super Typhoon Lekima barrels towards China

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At least one person had died on Friday after Typhoon Lekima barreled into southern Japan and Taiwan, with more than 2500 residents in areas prone to floods evacuated.

China issued a red alert for incoming Super Typhoon Lekima which is expected to batter eastern Zhejiang province early on Saturday with high winds and torrential rainfall.

The ninth typhoon of the year is projected to move northwest up China's coast on Saturday with the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) focusing its attention on Shanghai and Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangsu and Shandong provinces.

As Lekima, the ninth typhoon of the year, arrives, huge waves arise in Zhoushan city, east China's Zhejiang province, 9 August 2019.  (Imaginechina via AP Images)
As Lekima, the ninth typhoon of the year, arrives, huge waves arise in Zhoushan city, east China's Zhejiang province.

Lekima's centre was about 290km southeast of the city of Wenling in Zhejiang Friday morning, with winds reaching 209km per hour, official news agency Xinhua reported.

Authorities were pre-emptively cancelling Saturday train services in Zhejiang, Shanghai and elsewhere, according to the CMA's newspaper. They also issued a yellow alert for torrential rain and flooding for provinces in Lekima's path.

Some airlines have cancelled Saturday flights out of Shanghai as a precaution, 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.

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.
SIPA USA

One person killed

On Friday, Typhoon Lekima battered southern Japan and Taiwan, killing one Taipei resident, with strong winds and heavy rains disrupting transport in the region.

This year's ninth typhoon caused the cancellation of 68 flights and 155 ferry services in Japan's Ryukyu Islands region, while at least four people were injured in Okinawa prefecture, local newspaper Okinawa Times reported.

Japanese forecasters warned of high waves, torrential rains and powerful winds even though the storm has passed through the islands and heading towards China's mainland.

People cross a street during downpour and strong winds brought by Typhoon Lekima in Taipei, Taiwan.
People cross a street during downpour and strong winds brought by Typhoon Lekima in Taipei, Taiwan.
EPA

In Taiwan, Lekima skirted past the northern tip of the island early on Friday, bringing heavy rains and damaging winds.

A 64-year-old man in the capital Taipei died after being knocked to the ground while cutting trees on Thursday, according to Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Centre (CEOC).

Transport was affected, with 383 international and 138 domestic flights being cancelled and some ferry services suspended.

Damaged power poles left more than 60,000 households without electricity late on Thursday, with 9000 still waiting for power to be restored, the CEOC said.

Schools and most offices in northern Taiwan were closed on Friday.

Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau on Friday said that Lekima has weakened but warned of heavy rains in the coming days.

More than 2500 residents in areas prone to floods have been evacuated.

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