Powerful gales and torrential rains hit Zhoushan in eastern China on Wednesday as Typhoon Muifa made landfall in the port city in what local media called the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Yangtze River delta in a decade.
Muifa landed around 8:30 p.m. (1230 GMT) as a powerful typhoon, the second highest in China’s tropical cyclone classification system, with maximum wind speed near its center reaching 42 meters per second, meteorologists said. of State. That equates to 151 km per hour (94 miles per hour), powerful enough to damage homes, topple trees and bring down power lines.
Muifa is expected to cross Hangzhou Bay to make landfall around midnight near Shanghai, before continuing north to Jiangsu and Shandong provinces, state meteorologists said. Earlier Wednesday, China raised its highest tropical cyclone alert as Muifa approached the Yangtze River Delta, a dense cluster of major cities with a combined population of more than 230 million.
The Yangtze River Delta is also China’s most prosperous region, with Shanghai the country’s financial and commercial capital and neighboring cities important industrial centers. The port of Ningbo-Zhoushan and the port of Shanghai are among the busiest in the world in tonnage of cargo handled. Flights at Zhoushan and Ningbo airports in the coastal province of Zhejiang were canceled, while the ship bunkering center shared by the two cities suspended unloading and loading of oil as tankers took refuge in the moorings.
All flights from the busy Pudong and Hongqiao airports in Shanghai have been canceled as a precaution. The megacity of 25 million people took safety measures a step further by limiting the speed of elevated trains on the ground or even closing stations, and warned of train delays to ensure safety in the affected areas while keeping the other sections in service.
Shanghai’s many outdoor COVID-19 testing sites have also been closed, in a rare disruption to an entrenched testing regime since the citywide lockdown was lifted in June. Authorities in Zhejiang have issued a “red warning” for flash flooding in several regions, the highest alert level in China’s four-level typhoon warning system.
More than 1.14 million people in Zhejiang had been relocated before the storm, according to local media. Muifa was the Yangtze River Delta’s strongest typhoon in a decade. Meteorologists said it was caused by this year’s unusually warm weather and high temperatures in the East China Sea, Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported.
In 2012, Typhoon Damrey made landfall in Jiangsu Province north of the Yangtze River, the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Yangtze River Delta since 1949, killing dozens of people in its path, destroying dozens of thousands of homes and causing billions of yuan in direct economic losses. .
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)