NEW: Upwards of 305,000 people have been evacuated along China's southeast coast
NEW: Typhoon Soulik made landfall in China on Saturday
NEW: More than 140 flights have been canceled at Changel International Airport
Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated Saturday along China’s southeastern coast as Typhoon Soulik struck, where the storm was expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain.
Upwards of 305,000 people left their homes in eastern China’s Fujian province, according to state-run China Daily, citing the provincial flood control headquarters.
Soulik made landfall Saturday afternoon, bringing it with winds that reached a top speed of 118 kilometers per hour (73 mph), according to forecasters.
More than 140 flights have been canceled since Friday at Changel International Airport in the provincial capital of Fuzhou, and high-speed train services have also been suspended, authorities said.
Soulik also lashed Taiwan on Saturday, where it dumped up to 8 inches of rain on the capital city of Taipei and up to 14 inches in the island’s mountain region in a single day, CNN meteorologist Samantha Mohr said.
This week in south-central China, downpours triggered flooding and landslides that killed dozens and wiped out thousands of homes. More than 100 are still missing, according to Sichuan province officials.
The typhoon’s path should spare the region, according to the China Meteorological Administration.
But it will drop rain on areas in the east and north already soaked.
More than 5,000 Chinese soldiers have been deployed in the province in advance of the storm to help with possible rescues, China Daily reported.