More than 270,000 people were evacuated and 79 flights cancelled in China on Saturday as typhoon “Megi” hit the country’s southeastern part after lashing Philippines and Taiwan where at least 39 people have been killed.

Megi, the 13th typhoon to hit China this year, made landfall in Zhangzhou city in Fujian province on Saturday afternoon with speeds up to 140 km per hour, Xinhua reported quoting authorities.

Over 270,000 people have been evacuated and more people would be further relocated, the provincial flood control authorities said.

The wind is gradually weakening as it heads northwest and inland over Fujian, but it is expected to cause bad weather in Zhejiang, Jiangxi and other neighbouring provinces, a meteorological official said.

Due to the typhoon, 79 flights at the Xiamen airport, also in Fujian, have been cancelled on Saturday morning and the Dadeng Bridge, which connects the Xiamen city and Dadeng Island, has been closed.

DPA reported that fishing boats had been called in after forecasters warned that Megi could be the strongest typhoon to hit southern China in 20 years and could bring the highest tides in 200 years to some coastal areas.

On Friday, Hong Kong was spared the full force of the storm after Megi passed it by.

At least 26 people died in the storm this week in the Philippines while at least 13 people were killed in Taiwan after the typhoon caused landslides and heavy rain there. More were missing.

Megi slammed into the Philippines on Monday at its peak strength, packing maximum sustained winds of 225 km per hour and gusts of up to 260 km per hour. It had weakened to 130 km per hour by the time it reached Taiwan.

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