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Top warning for strong typhoon nearing China coast

Beijing: China issued a red alert for coastal areas of Zhejiang province on Friday ahead of a strong typhoon expected to bring heavy rain and winds within hours.

Heavy rain was expected in Zhejiang, Shanghai and nearby provinces on Friday before typhoon Lekima hits land on Saturday morning, then weakens as it moves north.

A Taiwanese man holds an umbrella against powerful gusts of wind generated by typhoon Lekima in Taipei, Taiwan.

A Taiwanese man holds an umbrella against powerful gusts of wind generated by typhoon Lekima in Taipei, Taiwan.Credit:AP

Parts of northern Taiwan cancelled flights, closed offices and schools on Friday as the storm passed north-east of the island and cut power to more than 40,000 homes forcing the high speed rail to be suspended. The same area was hit by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake on Thursday that caused minor damage but no deaths or injuries.

The warning is the most serious in its four-tired alert system, prompting authorities to prepare evacuations, suspend train and air travel and require vessels to return to port. In Zhejiang, ferry service were cancelled and more than 200 tourists evacuated from popular Beiji island.

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