One million people evacuated in China as Super Typhoon Chan-hom hits land
One dead, cities flooded and hundreds of flights cancelled as the super typhoon makes landfall south of Shanghai packing winds of 160km/h
Keira Lu Huang
Super Typhoon Chan-hom hit the coast south of Shanghai late yesterday afternoon as winds of up to 160km/h forced the evacuation of at least 1.1 million people and the cancellation of hundreds of flights.
The storm made landfall in Zhoushan , a city east of the port of Ningbo in Zhejiang province, dumping more than 100 millimetres of rain since late Friday, China Central Television and the Xinhua News Agency reported.
The Hong Kong International Airport said 51 flights between Shanghai and Hong Kong had been affected.
The typhoon, with wind gusts up to 45 metres per second, was the strongest to hit Zhejiang in any July since 1949, the National Meteorological Centre said. Previously, the strongest typhoon to hit Zhejiang in July hit 40 metres per second.
There have been only 4 ‘super’ typhoons in July over the past 65 years and none have reached as far north as Zhejiang, according to the centre’s statistics.
Hu Yaowen, deputy chief of Zhejiang’s flood control and drought prevention headquarters, said it was rare to see a typhoon this early in the year.
One death was reported in the early hours of yesterday. The heavy rainstorm brought by Chan-hom had collapsed the ceiling of a hotel room in Ningbo, killing one person and injuring two others, the China News Agency reported. Police are investigating.
Shanghai residents were told to stay home as the municipal government maintained its second most serious typhoon alert.
The rainstorm also swept across Shanghai, southern Anhui and part of Jiangsu .
In the past two days, more than 200 counties and villages in Zhejiang recorded over 100 millimetres – and some up to 500 millimetres – of rain.
The heavy rainfall flooded several cities in Zhejiang, damaged farmlands and fishponds and caused landslides.
In addition to the air traffic, ground and water transport were severely affected in the developed east coast area around Shanghai.
The Shanghai Railway cancelled all trains between Hangzhou and Ningbo and on the coastal line.
Railways in Anhui were also affected and a bridge and five major highways were partially closed.
A resident rides on a road submerged by water in Xiangshan County of east China’s Zhejiang Province. Photo: Xinhua
So far, Chan-hom has left 5 people dead in the Philippines and injured 20 people in southern Japan.
Four people were injured by falling trees in Taiwan on Friday.
Chan-hom is forecast to move northwest towards the Korean peninsula in the coming days as it weakens, according to the US government’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre.
The west coast of South Korea could expect “gale-force” winds, it said.
Additional reporting by AFP and AP
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Million evacuated as Chan-hom hits
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 July, 2015, 5:51pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 July, 2015, 12:53pm