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Typhoon Chan-Hom causes flooding, power cuts and panic buying

( Updated: 2015-07-11 08:00

Typhoon Chan-Hom causes flooding, power cuts and panic buying

Strong waves hit Wenling in the coastal province of Zhejiang, on July 9, 2015. [Photo/CFP]

Typhoon Chan-Hom made landfall on Saturday afternoon in east China, bringing with it severe winds and heavy rain to Zhejiang and neighboring provinces.

Chan-Hom, the ninth typhoon this year, landed at 4:40 p.m. in Zhujiajian Township of Putuo District in the island city of Zhoushan, packing winds of up to 45 meters per second, according to the provincial meteorological station.

However, the strength of the typhoon is waning and is moving northeast.

Rainstorms and gales paralyze traffic

Zhejiang was battered by gales and torrential rain, resulting in hundreds of flights being canceled and many highways closed, local authorities said Saturday.

So far, no casualties have been reported. More than 710,000 people and 81,460 hectares of farmland have been affected, according to the provincial flood control and drought prevention headquarters.

Some 94 houses collapsed and 11,224 enterprises closed due to flooding. Direct economic losses are estimated at 1.947 billion yuan (318 million U.S. dollars), according to the headquarters.

The worst hit sector is agriculture with a economic losses of 1.44 billion yuan, it said.

Power supply to more than 200,000 household in 139 villages in the coastal city of Ningbo has been cut off since Friday night. More than 2,000 workers have been dispatched to repair the lines.

As of Saturday morning, nine counties had recorded more than 100 mm of rain since Friday. Lai'ao Village in Sanmen County reported a record 404 mm of rainfall, according to the headquarters.

As of 3 p.m. Saturday, some 1.07 million people in the province had been evacuated and 29,641 ships recalled to port. The water level of 51 large and medium-sized reservoirs had exceeded the danger level.

Over 600 flights were canceled on Saturday in the cities of Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou and Taizhou. More than 7,300 coaches and all passenger ships also suspended service.

Several high-speed trains starting from or arriving at the cities of Hangzhou and Ningbo were also canceled on Saturday.

China Southern Airlines and Air China, the two major carriers, canceled 339 and 144 flights respectively in east China on Saturday.

In neighboring Jiangsu Province, more than 46,000 people have been evacuated and 21,691 ships recalled to port. Many flights were canceled out of Nantong and Nanjing.

Strongest typhoon since 1949

The National Meteorological Center has issued its highest alert, a red alert, on Friday because Chan-Hom, the second typhoon to hit China in two days, could be the strongest typhoon to land in Zhejiang since 1949, according to the NMC.

The strongest typhoon that has made landfall in Zhejiang so far was the Typhoon Saomai in 2006, which claimed 483 lives. It had wind speeds of 200 to 220 km/h.

The storm has disrupted traffic, and direct-shipping routes to Taiwan from Zhejiang have been suspended since Thursday. About 100 flights were canceled Friday and some long-distance bus and train services have been suspended.

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