A TYPHOON has struck south-eastern China with powerful winds and heavy rains that cut power, cancelled flights and suspended train services.

Typhoon Fitow struck Fuding city in Fujian province with winds of up to 94mph yesterday morning, before weakening to a tropical storm, the National Meteorological Centre said.

More than 500,000 people were evacuated and fishing boats were called back to shore while authorities issued a red alert - the highest warning - as the typhoon approached.

The provincial flood relief agency in Zhejiang, which neighbours Fujian, said 574,000 people had been evacuated by and 35,800 vessels returned to shore.

Fujian's government said 177,000 people had been moved to safety and nearly 30,000 fishing boats called back.

At least two people have been killed by the typhoon. One victim was on his way to rescue a fisherman when he was blown off a hill by strong winds.

Some homes are said to have collapsed in Zhejiang province and two port workers are missing.

The typhoon cut power in towns and counties in Zhejiang while high-speed rail services in the region were suspended. At least 27 flights out of Wenzhou airport in Zhejiang were cancelled.

The typhoon has been dumping heavy and torrential rain across the southeastern seaboard, with rainfall of up to 8in.