October 23, 2010 / 6:20 AM / 8 years ago

Typhoon Megi hits south China, flights cancelled

U.S. troops unload their belongings from a CH-46 Sea Knight chopper before unloading relief aid to be distributed to the devastated area in Isabela province, north of Manila October 22, 2010 after super typhoon Megi hit the provinces on Monday. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

TAIPEI/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A typhoon initially feared to be among the worst in 50 years to hit China has weakened as it hit the southern Fujian province on Saturday, official media reported.

Typhoon Megi made landfall in Zhangzhou City in the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian at 5:55 a.m. British time, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The main airport in the coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian, cancelled 79 flights on Saturday due to the typhoon. The airport statement did not say whether they were local or international flights.

Typhoon Megi reaches China after causing massive landslides and killing 11 people in Taiwan.

A mudslide in eastern Taiwan killed nine people and about 26 people, including Chinese tourists, were still missing, island disaster officials said.

Typhoon-whipped high waves shut Taiwan’s biggest seaport, in Kaohsiung, on Friday after a string of ports and oil terminals in southern China had closed operations.

Megi, which was then a super typhoon with an intensity that topped the scale, had struck the main island of the Philippines earlier this week, killing at least 26 people and destroying crop acreage, including rice and corn.

Typhoons regularly hit China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan in the second half of the year, gathering strength from the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean or South China Sea before weakening over land.

Reporting by Baker Li and Melanie Lee

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