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China issues red alert for Typhoon Lekima

August 9, 2019

Chinese authorities have put coastal areas of Zhejiang province on high alert ahead of a strong typhoon. Winds and rain from Typhoon Lekima have already battered southern Japan and Taiwan.

Flag warning about rough seas in Taiwan
Image: Getty Images/AFP/S. Yeh

China on Friday issued the most serious alert in its four-tiered typhoon warning system, with Typhoon Lekima expected to bring heavy rain to Zheijiang, Shanghai and nearby provinces before making landfall on Saturday morning.

The red alert has prompted authorities to prepare evacuations and suspend train and air travel. Seafaring vessels are also required to return to port. The typhoon is forecast to send an intense storm surge up the Yangzte River, causing possible flooding.

The National Meteorological Center said Lekima was currently traveling northwest at 13 kph (8 mph) over the East China Sea and carrying winds of 209 kph (130 mph). The storm is expected to weaken after hitting land and moving north.

Read more: The world's deadliest hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones

Typhoon Lekima
Typhoon Lekima (L) and Tropical Storm Krosa can both be seen in this satellite imageImage: Imago Images/ZUMA Press/Nasa

Reported death

Lekima brought heavy rains and damaging winds to both southern Japan and northern Taiwan on Friday, with one resident of Taipei killed, according to Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Centre (CEOC).

Hundreds of international and domestic flights in Taiwan were canceled and some ferry services suspended, while damaged power poles left tens of thousands without electricity late on Thursday.

Heavy rains have been forecast for the coming days even though the storm has moved on.

In Japan, nearly 70 flights and more than 150 ferry services were canceled in the Ryukyu Islands system. The Okinawa Times newspaper reported that at least four people were injured.

Read more: Climate change - 'Asia is paying for the West's emissions'

tj/amp (AP, dpa)

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