Source AP ©

Typhoon Wipha paralyzes China's biggest city, Shanghai

Typhoon Wipha hit the Chinese coast south of Shanghai early Wednesday, flooding streets and fields and disrupting transport. One man was electrocuted.

Schools were closed in Shanghai, the biggest city of China. Ferries and other transport links stopped working too after forecasts of torrential rains and strong winds.

Authorities in Shanghai, Zhejiang and Fujian province had ordered 2 million people evacuated from ships, coastal regions and housing deemed unsafe after forecasters said the storm could be the most destructive to hit the area in a decade.

But Wipha was fast losing power and unlikely to live up to those forecasts. The Meteorological Bureau in Zhejiang province, where Wipha made landfall, reported that the storm was downgraded to a severe tropical storm early Wednesday when its sustained wind speeds dropped below 118 kilometers per hour (74 mph).

However, the storm was expected to pass Shanghai later in the day and still carried the potential to cause significant damage through flooding and strong winds.

State television showed flooded streets, fields and homes. Wind gusts knocked down trees and signboards as the hit land early Wednesday near Cangnan in southern Zhejiang province, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of Shanghai.

In Shanghai, a man was electrocuted when he stepped in a puddle electrified by a light box in the northern part of the city, the Shanghai Daily and other state-run newspapers said.

There were few reports of damage or injuries.

On Tuesday, one worker was reported killed and another seriously injured as the fringe of the typhoon lashed Taiwan, knocking down scaffolding at a highway construction site in Taipei, Taiwan's Disaster Relief Center reported.

Dozens of flights through Shanghai's two airports were canceled or delayed.

Organizers of the women's World Cup rescheduled Wednesday's Shanghai match between Norway and Ghana to Thursday and moved it to the neighboring city of Hangzhou.

A Wednesday game in Hangzhou between Brazil and Denmark was moved to Thursday.

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