Authorities in east China’s Zhejiang Province have ordered ships to return to port, told schools to close and evacuate tourists from nearby islands, where one of the strongest typhoons of the year is due to make landfall on Wednesday.
Typhoon Muiva intensified on Tuesday as it moved toward the cities of Ningbo and Zhoushan, which share a ranking of China’s second-busiest port, in terms of cargo handling.
State media said the 12th Chinese typhoon this year is expected to make landfall between Wenling and Zhoushan, bringing heavy rains to the eastern and southern coastal regions.
This includes the commercial hub of Shanghai, just north of Ningbo and Zhoushan, Xinhua news agency said.
Waves up to 5 m (16 ft) are expected near Shanghai, China’s busiest container sea port.
Shanghai International Shipping Institute said Shanghai will suspend some operations at its port, including Yangshan Terminal and others, from Tuesday evening and halt all operations on Wednesday morning.
China Southern Airlines said it canceled 25 flights at Shanghai airports on Tuesday and plans to cancel 11 more on Wednesday.
State TV said about 13,000 people had been evacuated from islands and tourist sites near Zhoushan.
State media said about 7,400 merchant ships had taken refuge in Zhejiang ports, including Zhoushan, Ningbo and Taizhou, while passenger ship routes through the province were suspended at noon.
The three cities and Shanghai together have a population of 42.26 million.
The Zhejiang government ordered all fishing vessels to return to the pier before noon. Ningbo, Zhoushan and Taizhou ordered schools to be closed on Wednesday.
Flight data platform Variflight told Reuters that all flights at Ningbo and Zhoushan airports were canceled on Wednesday.
Meteorological authorities said the Moifa center is located about 490 km southeast of Xiangshan City, Zhejiang Province. The Central Meteorological Administration added that the typhoon will move to the northwest after hitting the ground and gradually weaken.