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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Mighty storm buffets China coast
A Chinese man flies a kite on the Bund in Shanghai
Wipha is not expected to hit Shanghai directly, but will still cause damage

Typhoon Wipha has hit China's densely populated eastern coast but will probably miss the financial hub of Shanghai, officials say.

Although downgraded to a tropical storm, Wipha destroyed some 700 houses and caused widespread power cuts after blowing ashore early on Wednesday.

Five million people have been affected, two million have been evacuated and one has been killed, state media reports.

Wipha is expected to pass south of Shanghai on Wednesday evening.

The storm has already disrupted power supplies to some 1,800 villages, and caused economic losses of almost 3bn yuan (almost $400m), the Xinhua state news agency reports.

Map showing path of typhoon

One man died after being electrocuted in the storm.

More than two million people were evacuated from Shanghai and the nearby provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang before the storm landed.

Extensive flooding

The BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Shanghai says the authorities have warned Wipha could still bring extensive flooding, high winds and heavy rains to China's biggest city and surrounding areas.

The typhoon - with winds of up to 45m (150ft) per second - made landfall at 0230 on Wednesday (1830 GMT Tuesday), but was losing force as it travelled north along the coast.

Typhoon animated guide

Two Women's World Cup matches, originally scheduled for Wednesday in Shanghai and Hangzhou, have been postponed to Thursday, Xinhua reports.

President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao demanded provinces safeguard the lives of residents, in a statement posted on the Chinese government website.

Central Shanghai was brought to a standstill on Tuesday as schools were shut and transport links cancelled, amid warnings the storm could be the strongest to hit the region in a decade.

The province of Zhejiang south of Shanghai bore the initial brunt of Wipha.

State media reported that 40,000 boats and ships were ordered back to port.

Wipha - a woman's name in Thai - grazed northern Taiwan on Tuesday, prompting the closure of schools, offices and financial markets.

One man was reported killed and another seriously hurt when scaffolding collapsed at a building site in the capital, Taipei.

The deadliest storm to hit the coast of China in recent years was Typhoon Winnie in 1997, which killed 236 people.

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