Typhoon Muifa smashes into Zhoushan

Powerful gales and torrential rains hit the port city of Zhoushan, eastern China on Wednesday September 14th as Typhoon Muifa made landfall. Local media claimed that it was the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Yangtze River Delta for a decade.

In 2012, Typhoon Damrey made landfall in Jiangsu province north of the Yangtze River, the strongest tropical cyclone to batter the Yangtze River Delta since 1949, destroying tens of thousands of homes and causing billions of yuan in direct economic losses.

Muifa landed at around 20:30 on Wednesday as a strong typhoon, with the maximum wind speed near its centre reaching the equivalent of equal 151kph (94mph).

Muifa was expected to move across Hangzhou Bay and then to make second landfall around midnight near Shanghai, before continuing a northerly track to the provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong.

The Yangtze Delta has a total population of more than 230m, and is also China’s most prosperous region.

Flights at Zhoushan and Ningbo airports were cancelled, while the ship bunkering hub shared by both cities suspended discharging and loading oil as tankers took shelter at anchorages.

All flights at Shanghai’s busy Pudong and Hongqiao airports were cancelled as a precaution. Zhejiang authorities issued a “red warning” for flash floods in several areas, the highest warning level in China’s four-tier typhoon warning system.

More than 1.14m people in Zhejiang were relocated ahead of the storm, according to local media.