Lekima made landfall as a typhoon with its strength equivalent to a powerful Category 3 hurricane during the early morning hours Saturday.
The powerful typhoon barreled onshore near Shitangzhen in the province of Zhejiang around 1 a.m. local time.
At least 22 people have been killed and 10 others missing in eastern China since landfall, according to the China Global Television Network (CGTN).
Those deaths occurred in a village in Zhejiang’s Yongjia County.RELATED NOAA now expects above-normal Atlantic hurricane season
After a landslide initially blocked a river, water built up and then broke through the earthen dam. The roughly 120 people in the village did not have time to safely evacuate before the flood waters swept downstream.
Officials told CGTN that the water level rose up to nearly 33 feet within 10 minutes.
In anticipation of Lekima’s landfall, the Chinese weather bureau issued a red alert on Friday morning, warning residents of the threat for strong winds, heavy rainfall and coastal impacts. The country has a four-stage color-coded warning system, with red representing the most severe weather.RELATED Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone expected to grow
More than one million people in eastern China evacuated ahead of the typhoon. That included about 250,000 residents in Shanghai and another 800,000 in neighboring Zhejiang, according to BBC News.
The typhoon’s powerful winds caused an estimated 2.7 million homes in the area to lose power.
Lekima prompted officials to close Shanghai Disneyland on Saturday, Xinhua reported. That is the first time the park has shut down due to weather since opening in June 2016.RELATED Meteorologists predict slight increase in hurricanes in forecast revision
Winds at the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport gusted to 55 mph on Saturday.
As of Saturday night, Lekima had lost wind intensity and is now a tropical storm.
However, residents across eastern China should not let their guard down as flooding rain will continue to spread from around Shanghai to Shenyang through Tuesday.
“The heaviest rain is expected to extend from Shandong into far eastern Hebei and Tianjin into Jiaoning,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty. “In these areas, there can be widespread rainfall totals of 6-12 inches with an AccuWeather Local StormMax of 15 inches.”
New incidents of widespread flooding and some mudslides can occur.
“River flooding could last for days after the rain ends as water slowly drains to the ocean,” Douty added.
Douty anticipates the worst of the heaviest rain to narrowly miss Beijing.
“The Beijing area will likely receive some rain, though it is not expected to be enough to cause flooding or major impacts as the heaviest rain falls farther to the east,” he added.
Prior to reaching China, Lekima was briefly a super typhoon at midweek while mainly over open water.
However, the powerful cyclone brought dangerous seas from northern Luzon to Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands. Rain and winds over the Sakashima Islands began increasing on Thursday, bringing winds up to 74 mphas of Thursday evening.
Northern parts of Taiwan were the next to feel the wrath of Lekima as typhoon passed just north and east of the island. Dangerous seas prompted extreme sea warnings by officials while rounds of heavy tropical rain washed over the northern parts of the island.
n the heels of Lekima, Typhoon Krosa is aiming at western Japan with flooding rain and damaging wind dangers.
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