SHANGHAI - TYPHOON Wipha made landfall in eastern China on Wednesday, knocking out power and water supplies to tens of thousands of residents, but promptly lost strength as it travelled inland.
Forecaster Tropical Storm Risk downgraded Wipha to a category one typhoon that would weaken further into a tropical storm as it headed north towards Nanjing.
Its projection showed the eye of the storm passing some 250 km to the west of China's financial hub, Shanghai, within 24 hours.
More than 2 million people had been evacuated in the coastal provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang and Shanghai ahead of what Chinese officials had predicted would be a powerful and destructive typhoon.
Officials said it was too early to assess damage on the coast, but there were not immediate reports of casualties. Sometimes such reports take hours before being released by state media.
The typhoon made landfall at the border of Zhejiang and Fujian - just where Typhoon Saomai hit last year killing hundreds.
Several thousand residents who spent the night in temporary shelters such as schools were able to return home in the Zhejiang township of Xiaguan, where Wipha made landfall at 2:30am local time (2.30am Singapore time), an official said.
'The wind is basically over and the rain is all right. But the whole township has been out of tap water and electricity since midnight,' the Xiaguan township official, surnamed Yang, said by telephone.
Mr Yang said authorities were inspecting damage in Xiaguan's outlying villages, where some roads were cut off.
Dozens of flights to and from the nearby Wenzhou airport were cancelled on Tuesday.
At least one person died in the storm, when he stepped in water touched by an electrical wire in Shanghai, the Shanghai Daily reported.
Wipha had gust winds of up to 90 km per hour at 0100 GMT (9am Singapore time), compared with 162 km when it landed, China's meteorological centre said.
Wipha grazed northern Taiwan on Tuesday, prompting the closure of schools, offices and financial markets.
Typhoons regularly hit China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan in the summer months, gathering strength from warm sea waters before weakening over land. -- REUTERS