Typhoon Chan-hom is barrelling towards China's heavily populated eastern coast, forcing the evacuation of almost a million people, shutting transport links and devastating swathes of farmland, the government and state media says.
The powerful typhoon could be the strongest to hit Zhejiang province, south of China's commercial hub Shanghai, since 1949, China's National Meteorological Centre (NMC) said.
It was expected to make landfall in the afternoon or evening near the port of Ningbo, home to almost six million people, before brushing Shanghai and its population of 23 million.
Yesterday, the storm was around 75km from the Zhejiang coast packing winds of up to 173km/h, said the NMC, maintaining its highest red alert for the typhoon despite downgrading it from "super" to "strong".
Out at sea, Chan-hom was whipping up waves of up to 10m high, the US Government's Joint Typhoon Warning Centre said.
Zhejiang has evacuated around 960,000 people and called its entire fishing fleet back to port, state media reported.
Provincial authorities said earlier that nearly 30,000 vessels had been able to moor safely.
Typhoon winds blew down trees and street signs across Zhejiang and knocked down an unoccupied building in the city of Cixi, provincial television reported.
Some parts of Zhejiang were deluged with more than 300mm of rain in 24 hours, the local government said.
More than 100 trains between the region's cities were cancelled, as were flights, bus services and ferry services.
Earlier in the week, Typhoon Linfa displaced 56,000 people in southern China's Guangdong province.
Angry storms tear across the Pacific
Asia and the Pacific Islands are getting slammed as storms tear towards land, threatening millions with ferocious winds and dangerous surges of water, reports gawker.com.
The website yesterday showed a composite of Pacific satellite images with seven systems stretching from Mexico to China in a typhoon "conga line".
The most serious storm was Typhoon Chan-Hom, expected to make a direct hit on Shanghai with strong winds, heavy rain, and surges that could cause major issues for low-lying areas.
Typhoon Nangka, a much stronger storm, will post a threat to Japan in a couple of days.
In the central Pacific, three systems were being tracked: the remnants of Ela, which later fell apart north of Hawaii, along with two tropical depressions just south of the island chain, which will likely become tropical storms over the next couple of days.
In the eastern Pacific, two invest areas - disturbances being monitored for tropical development - had a high likelihood of turning into tropical depressions over the next day or two.