Typhoon Muifa lashes eastern China, forcing 1.6 million people from their homes and grounding flights
- Muifa is the strongest tropical cyclone to hit Shanghai since record-keeping began in 1949 and comes after Typhoon Hinnamnor hit the region last week
- With winds of up to 125km/h, the storm brings heavy rainfall, floods in Yangtze River Delta region, giant waves in Hangzhou Bay and a reported landslide
Muifa is the strongest tropical cyclone to hit Shanghai – home to more than 25 million people – since record-keeping began in 1949, state broadcaster CCTV said.
However, there were no immediate reports of deaths or casualties.
At least 426,000 people were evacuated in Shanghai and a further 1.2 million people were taken to temporary shelters in neighbouring Zhejiang province, CCTV added.
Heavy rainfall led to traffic traffic jams and floods in several areas of the Yangtze River Delta region, a major global manufacturing hub.
Giant waves were seen crashing onto the coastline in Hangzhou Bay, to the south of Shanghai, and national radio reported a landslide in Ninghai county in Zhejiang province.
Packing winds of up to 125km/h (78mph), the storm made landfall at 12.30am on Thursday in Shanghai’s Fengxian district.
It had earlier led to the cancellation of all flights to China’s biggest financial hub.
Muifa previously hit the city of Zhoushan in Zhejiang on Wednesday, according to Xinhua.
Air travel slowly resumed in Shanghai as the storm moved north, but most flights from the city’s two main airports were cancelled on Thursday morning, according to aviation data provider Flightradar24.
Operations at some of Asia’s largest container shipping ports in Shanghai and neighbouring Ningbo that were halted because of the typhoon were expected to resume later on Thursday, according to statements from port officials.
Officials 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 on Thursday morning and the wind speed weakened to about 90km/h, the Central Meteorological Observatory said.
Muifa is the 12th typhoon to hit China this year, according to state media.