More than a million evacuated as typhoon Muifa lashes China
Beijing, Sep 15 (EFE).- Typhoon Muifa on Thursday led to the suspension of transport and classes in several cities of eastern China, including financial hub Shanghai, and forced the evacuation of over a million people before turning into a tropical storm, media outlets reported.
On Thursday, Muifa was expected to pass through the eastern Jiangsu province before lashing the coast of the Shandong peninsula during the night, carrying force 11 winds with speeds of 103-117 kph.
At 6 am on Thursday, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) reduced its storm alert level to yellow, the second most severe in a four-color scale, a day after sounding the red alert for the first time this year.
The storm is expected to lash a total of 12 provinces and cities with gale winds and heavy rains, state daily Global Times said.
On the other hand, Muifa has also triggered hope in different sectors over the possibility that it could alleviate the effects of one of China’s worst droughts in 60 years.
Dong Lin, a CMA meteorologist, told the Global Times that the typhoon could help replenish certain sections of the Yangtse river affected by drought due to sustained high temperatures and boost water storage levels in dams and irrigation projects.
Several ports in the Zhejiang province and Shanghai were affected by the typhoon and enforced prevention measures such as closing the docks and suspending several waterways.
Meanwhile airports in the cities of Ningbo, Zhoushan and Taizhou in the Zhejiang province cancelled all their flights on Wednesday, while departures and landings in Shanghai were suspended after 5.30 pm on the same day.
Train services have also been affected, with cancellations reported in services between major eastern cities such as Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Hefei, Wenzhou and Jiaxing.
The requirement of presenting an RT-PCR test to access public places – part of China’s strict “zero-Covid” policy – was cancelled for 72 hours in Ningbo due to the storm.
The CMA expects Muifa to gradually weaken during its passage to the northeast, although the authorities have stressed the need to take all possible precautions. EFE