ports in eastern china at standstill as typhoon muifa closes in
China – Typhoon Muifa intensified on Tuesday as it moved towards the twin port cities of Ningbo and Zhoushan, which are China’s second busiest ports in terms of transshipment.
Authorities in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang have ordered ships back to port, ordered schools to close and evacuated tourists from nearby islands as one of this year’s worst typhoons is due to make landfall on Wednesday.
State media reported that China’s 12th cyclone this year is expected to make landfall between the cities of Wenling and Zhoushan, causing heavy rainfall on the east and south coasts. This includes the commercial hub of Shanghai, just north of Ningbo and Zhoushan, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Waves up to 5 meters (16 feet) are expected near Shanghai, China’s busiest container seaport.
Shanghai will suspend some of its port operations, including the Yangshan Terminal and others, from Tuesday evening and stop all operations on Wednesday morning, the Shanghai International Shipping Institute said.
China Southern Airlines said it canceled 25 flights at Shanghai airports on Tuesday and plans to cancel 11 more flights on Wednesday. About 13,000 people from islands and tourist sites near Zhoushan have been evacuated, according to state television.
Some 7,400 commercial ships have taken refuge in Zhejiang’s ports, including Zhoushan, Ningbo and Taizhou, while passenger ship routes through the province have been suspended since noon, according to state media.
The population of the three cities and Shanghai together is 42.26 million. The Zhejiang government ordered all fishing boats to return to the dock before noon. Ningbo, Zhoushan and Taizhou on Wednesday ordered the suspension of schools. All flights at Ningbo and Zhoushan airports were canceled for Wednesday, flight data platform Variflight told Reuters.
The meteorological authorities said the center of Muifa was about 490 kilometers (304.5 miles) southeast of Xiangshan City, Zhejiang Province. After hitting the ground, the typhoon will move to the northwest and gradually weaken, the Main Meteorological Directorate added.