SHANGHAI: All passenger flights at Shanghai’s two international airports have been cancelled, the airport operator said Wednesday, as Typhoon Muifa nears landfall on China’s densely populated east coast.
The storm is expected to make landfall at around 7:00 pm on Wednesday (1100 GMT) state broadcaster CCTV reported, threatening to bring strong winds and flooding to the coastal provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Fujian, as well as Shanghai home to Asia’s largest commercial port.
“Shanghai Airport Group will announce flight adjustments at both airports to the public in a timely manner, in line with the typhoon’s impact,” the firm said in a social media statement.
The typhoon will land near the twin port cities of Ningbo and Zhoushan, the busiest in the world in terms of cargo tonnage, with gusts of up to 172 kilometres (107 miles) per hour.
The storm comes soon after Typhoon Hinnamnoor hit Shanghai and its neighbouring region last week, causing the suspension of the Shanghai ferry services and school closures in parts of Zhejiang.
Zhejiang authorities have ordered all fishing vessels to return to port by noon, closed schools in three cities, suspended passenger ferry routes and shut tourist attractions as the province braces for landfall.
China’s Central Meteorological Observatory on Wednesday issued the highest-level red typhoon alert for the first time this year, adding that Muifa will increase in intensity as it approaches the coast.
Gale force winds and heavy rains are forecast along China’s eastern seaboard until tomorrow morning, the observatory said.
“Relevant areas should pay attention to the prevention of flash floods and geological disasters that may be caused by heavy rainfall,” the weather agency said.
Temporary emergency shelters have been set up near Shanghai port, CCTV reported, as well as an emergency evacuation zone spanning over 30 kilometres (18 miles) along the city’s coastal area.
It is the twelfth typhoon to hit China this year, according to state media.
The impact of the typhoon is expected to gradually decrease as it moves further north inland from tomorrow, CCTV reported. (AFP)