Tropical storm Bilis has battered Taiwan with heavy rains and strong winds, after killing at least nine people in the Philippines.

Domestic flights were canceled in several towns along Taiwan's eastern coastline as the storm moved through Thursday. Trains and ferry service were suspended, and schools and many offices were closed. Officials warned of possible flash floods in low-lying areas.

The Associated Press reported at least nine people were missing in Taiwan after the storm hit.

Taiwan weather forecasters are classifying Bilis as a "severe tropical storm."

It is forecast to move into the Taiwan Strait and make landfall in China's eastern Fujian province on Friday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.