China typhoon downgraded to tropical storm

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A typhoon threatening eastern China has been downgraded to a strong tropical storm, but is still likely to bring heavy rains and flash flooding as it moves north across populated coastal regions.

Typhoon Muifa, China's 12th such weather event this year, was described by local media as the strongest tropical cyclone to reach the populous Yangtze River Delta in the past 10 years.

It made landfall overnight in Shanghai.

Despite causing flight cancellations at several airports, city metro contingency planning and grinding port activities to a halt, there was little damage reported.

However, some photos on China's Twitter-like social media platform Weibo showed shallow-rooted roadside trees uprooted and fallen leaves carpeting streets.

Travelling at a speed of 20-30km/h in a northwesterly direction, Muifa is now expected to skirt along the eastern coast of Jiangsu province and cross the Shandong peninsula, the China Meteorological Administration said on Thursday.

Heavy rains will hit northeastern Jiangsu, the central and eastern areas of Shandong, central and eastern areas of Liaoning province, and southeastern Jilin province, forecasters said.

Various areas could see maximum hourly rainfall of 30 to 60mm, with some localities exceeding 70mm.

Forecasters raised advisory warnings in several provinces for landslides and flash flooding.