Typhoon Muifa hits eastern China, forcing 1.6 million people from their homes

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Waves generated by Typhoon Muifa crash along the coast in Lianyungang, eastern China’s Jiangsu province, September 14, 2022. ― AFP pic

Thursday, September 15, 2022 1:30 p.m. MYT

SHANGHAI, September 15 ― Strong winds and heavy rain battered China’s densely populated east coast today, after Typhoon Muifa forced around 1.6 million people from their homes and blocked most flights at major airports in Shanghai.

Muifa is the strongest tropical cyclone to hit Shanghai – home to more than 25 million people – since records began in 1949, state broadcaster CCTV said.

However, there were no immediate reports of deaths or casualties.

At least 426,000 people have been evacuated to Shanghai and another 1.2 million people have been taken to temporary shelters in neighboring Zhejiang province, CCTV added.

Heavy rains led to traffic jams and flooding in several areas of the Yangtze River Delta region, a major global manufacturing hub.

Giant waves were seen crashing on the coastline of Hangzhou Bay, south of Shanghai, and state radio reported a landslide in Ninghai County, Zhejiang Province.

With winds of up to 125 kilometers (78 miles) per hour, the storm made landfall at 00:30 a.m. today (1630 GMT Wednesday) in Shanghai’s Fengxian district.

This had previously led to the cancellation of all flights to China’s biggest financial hub.

Muifa hit the city of Zhoushan in Zhejiang yesterday, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Air travel slowly resumed in Shanghai as the storm moved north, but most flights from the city’s two main airports were canceled on Thursday morning, according to aeronautical data provider Flightradar24.

Operations at some of Asia’s largest container ports in Shanghai and neighboring Ningbo, which were halted due to the typhoon, were expected to resume later Thursday, port officials said.

Authorities ordered all fishing vessels in the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea to anchor in ports as northeast China braced for the typhoon.

The storm entered east China’s Jiangsu Province this morning and the wind speed weakened to about 90 kilometers (56 miles) per hour, the Central Meteorological Observatory said.

The storm came shortly after Typhoon Hinnamnoor hit Shanghai and its neighboring region last week, causing Shanghai’s ferry services to be suspended and schools to close in parts of Zhejiang.

Muifa is the 12th typhoon to hit China this year, according to state media.

Tropical storms, which are expected to increase as the planet warms, rose sharply in 2021, according to a report from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration earlier this month. -AFP

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