By Kunle Adedoyin
Typhoon Lekima, the third-largest typhoon on record, struck China’s eastern coast early Saturday morning, killing 13 people and forcing the evacuation of over a million people.
Lekima barrelled into the eastern Zhejiang province of China, with maximum winds of 187 kilometers per hour (116 miles per hour), triggered a landslide that has disrupted air and rail transport and left millions without power.
Some train service between Zheijiang and northern China was also disrupted, and hundreds of flights at various airports were reportedly canceled.
Typhoon Lekima also forced the closure of Shanghai Disneyland.
Xinhau News Agency, citing China’s weather bureau, reported that it was moving northwards at a speed of 15 kph and gradually weakening.
The bureau lowered a red alert, the highest level weather alert, which they had issued Friday ahead of the storm’s landing, to orange on Saturday as the storm began to weaken, downgrading it from its prior classification as “super” typhoon.
However, the storm still managed to cause significant disruption and damage.
The storm is predicted to continue weakening as it moves northwards, reaching Jiangsu province by the early hours of Sunday morning and continuing out into the Yellow Sea, before reaching Shangdong province, state TV broadcaster CCTV reported.
Prior to reaching China, the storm had forced flight cancelations and business closures on the island of Taiwan.