Typhoon Soudelor hits China after sweeping across Taiwan

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Media captionParts of south-eastern China have been badly affected, with homes being evacuated

A powerful typhoon has brought chaos to parts of south-eastern China, with thousands evacuated and millions of homes left without power.

Typhoon Soudelor struck Fujian province late on Saturday night, bringing rains and gale force winds, state media said.

The typhoon earlier swept across Taiwan, leaving at least five people dead.

Although it has weakened, the typhoon is expected to continue moving across the region in the coming hours.

Fujian raised its typhoon alert to the highest level in anticipation of the storm, with at least 163,000 people evacuated to higher ground. There are reports of more evacuations in neighbouring Zhejiang.

Rail services and flights have been cancelled in the path of the storm, and schools and offices closed.

Taiwan earlier on Saturday saw winds of more than 230km/h (142mph), when Soudelor made landfall.

It ripped up trees and tore down billboards, and triggered a landslide in at least one village.

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Image caption People watched the waves in mainland China as the typhoon approached
Image copyright AP
Image caption The typhoon brought down roofs in Taiwan's capital, Taipei
Image copyright AP
Image caption The typhoon triggered at least one mudslide in Taiwan

Among the victims were an eight-year-old girl and her mother who were swept out to sea.

A firefighter was reportedly killed after being hit by a drunk driver as he tried to move a fallen tree.

"I've never seen such a powerful typhoon in my 60 years," one resident in the eastern Taitung county told Taiwan's Formosa TV.

The typhoon gradually lost its strength as it crossed the island, but was still packing winds of up to 144km/h (89mph) over the strait between Taiwan and China.

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Media captionTyphoon Soudelor has ripped through Taiwan bringing damaging winds, high waves and floods. BBC Weather John Hammond has the latest.

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