- Typhoon Muifa moves toward Shanghai, threatening to bring strong winds and flooding to China's east coast as early as Wednesday afternoon (September 14, 2022).
- The storm packs wind gusts of up to 193 km/h (120 mph), is expected to make landfall near the major port city of Ningbo.
- LNG import terminals in Ningbo, Zhoushan island and Jiangsu province have also shut.
- Zhoushan port is home to some of China's largest oil storage tanks and refineries.
Typhoon Muifa barreled toward Shanghai, threatening to bring strong winds and flooding to the heavily populated region along China's eastern coast.
The storm, packing wind gusts of up to 120 miles (193 kilometers) per hour, is expected to make landfall near the major port city of Ningbo as early as Wednesday afternoon and then continue north to Shanghai, state television reported.
Muifa should weaken as it approaches Shanghai, with the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center predicting wind gusts will slow to 75 mph over the next 24 hours. Still, the region - an industrial powerhouse and Asia's largest container port hub - faces a direct hit. Shanghai on Wednesday upgraded its typhoon warning to the third-highest level, according to a city government statement.
Major container ports in Shanghai and Ningbo suspended operations on expectations of heavy rains, strong winds and high waves. Liquefied natural gas import terminals in Ningbo, Zhoushan island and Jiangsu province have also shut. Zhoushan port is home to some of China's largest oil storage tanks and refineries.
The storm, plus maintenance work on the country's main import pipelines, will disrupt natural gas supply, according to Chinese consultant JLC.
Shanghai's two major airports canceled 589 flights on Wednesday, while nearby Hangzhou scrapped more than 200. China will suspend operations of more than 380 trains in the Yangtze River Delta, according to a statement from China Railway's Shanghai unit. Schools in the region were shut, and Ningbo said it will halt most Covid-19 test requirements.
Typhoon Muifa's insured loss could reach $1 billion if it inflicts flooding damage to eastern China, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Steven Lam.
The China Meteorological Administration expects the region could get 100-250 millimeters (3.9-9.8 inches) of rain in the 24 hours starting Wednesday morning, Lam noted. Zhengzhou, the epicenter of severe floods in Henan last year, got as much as 553 millimeters of rain in a day.
Muifa follows close behind Super Typhoon Hinnamnor, which passed by China's eastern coast last week. That storm, while much more powerful, caused only minor disruption as its edges merely brushed the coast.