Typhoon in Eastern China Causes Landslide, Killing 18, Evacuating 1 Million

August 10, 2019 Updated: August 10, 2019

BEIJING—Eighteen people were killed and 14 were missing in eastern China on Saturday, Aug. 10 in a landslide triggered by a major typhoon, which caused widespread transport disruptions and the evacuation of more than one million people, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Typhoon Lekima made landfall early on Saturday in the eastern province of Zhejiang with maximum winds of 116 miles per hour, although it had weakened from its earlier designation as a “super” typhoon, according to state-owned news agency Xinhua.

Thousands of flights were canceled in eastern China, according to the country’s aviation regulator, with most flights into and out of Shanghai’s two major airports canceled on Saturday afternoon, their websites showed.

Man holding an umbrella stands near a fallen tree after super typhoon Lekima made landfall in Wenling, Zhejiang
A man holding an umbrella stands near a fallen tree after super typhoon Lekima made landfall in Wenling, Zhejiang province, China on Aug. 10, 2019. (REUTERS/Stringer)

China’s weather bureau on Saturday issued an orange alert, its second highest, after posting a red alert on Friday, when the storm forced flight cancellations in Taiwan and shut markets and businesses on the island.

The deadly landslide occurred about 80 miles north of the coastal city of Wenzhou, when a natural dam collapsed in an area deluged with 6.3 inches of rain within three hours, CCTV reported.

The storm was moving northward at about 9.3 mph and was gradually weakening, Xinhua reported, citing the weather bureau.

A man rides an electric scooter in the rainstorm as typhoon Lekima approaches in Shanghai
A man rides an electric scooter in the rainstorm as typhoon Lekima approaches in Shanghai, China on Aug. 10, 2019. (REUTERS/Aly Song)

High winds and heavy rains battered the financial hub of Shanghai on Saturday afternoon, and Shanghai Disneyland was shut for the day.

Nearly 200 hundred trains through the city of Jinan in Shandong province had been suspended until Monday, Xinhua reported.

More than 250,000 residents in Shanghai and 800,000 in Zhejiang province had been evacuated due to the typhoon, and 2.72 million households in Zhejiang had power blackouts as strong wind and rain downed electricity transmission lines, state media reported.

People holding umbrellas wade through floodwaters amid heavy rainfall on a street after super typhoon Lekima made landfall in Ningbo
People holding umbrellas wade through floodwaters amid heavy rainfall on a street after super typhoon Lekima made landfall in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, China on Aug. 10, 2019. (REUTERS/Stringer)

Some 200 houses in six cities in Zhejiang had collapsed, and 163,830 acres of farmland had been destroyed, CCTV said.

The storm was predicted to reach Jiangsu province by the early hours of Sunday and veer over the Yellow Sea before continuing north and making landfall again in Shandong province, CCTV said.

Coastal businesses in Zhejiang were shut and the Ministry of Emergency Management warned of potential risk of fire, explosions, and toxic gas leaks at chemical parks and oil refineries.

By Muyu Xu, Tony Munroe and Martin Pollard

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