Local authorities have ordered the stop of all operations at Chinese major ports as Muifa, one of this year’s strongest typhoons, is set to hit the country’s coastal areas.
After passing Taiwan earlier this week, typhoon Muifa turned north toward the Port of Shanghai – Asia’s largest container shipping hub – as well as the Ningbo region, the second busiest container port complex in China.
The typhoon is forecasted to make the first landfall in coastal areas between Sanmen County and Zhoushan City in the Zhejiang Province on 14 September and make the second landfall between Jiaxing City in Zhejiang Province and Shanghai’s Pudong District on the evening, according to Xinhua.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has projected maximum sustained winds of around 128 kilometres per hour, primarily east of the centre, with winds in the 88 to 104 kilometres per hour range to the west.
On 13 September, the National Astronomical Observatory of China issued a red alert, the most severe warning level. On the same day, the China Meteorological Administration upgraded the typhoon emergency response to Level II, the second highest.
Shanghai has also upgraded its typhoon emergency response to Level III as the city is expected to experience gales and downpours, and waves of up to 5 metres are expected near the port area.
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The China Meteorological Administration further advised impacted regions to make emergency preparations for the typhoon and to take precautionary measures against possible geological disasters, while ships and boats have been asked to take shelter in harbours.
State media has reported that more than 7,000 ships are taking shelter.
Shanghai has started suspending some operations of its port from 13 September evening and will halt all operations starting 14 September morning, the Shanghai International Shipping Institute confirmed.
Several flights at Shanghai airports have also been cancelled in anticipation typhoon Muifa.
About 13,000 people from islands and tourist sites near Zhoushan, an archipelago south of Shanghai, have been evacuated.