Typhoon In-Fa lands in east China

A man walks with an umbrella crosses a street in Ningbo, Zhejiang, on July 25, 2021. PHOTO: AFP
Sandbags are seen placed by a shopfront entrance ahead of Typhoon In-Fa's expected landfall in Ningbo, Zhejiang, on July 25, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS, AFP) - Typhoon In-Fa made landfall in eastern China on Sunday (July 25), causing the evacuation of more than 100,000 people, the cancellation of flights and the halting of business operations, according to media reports.

The typhoon landed in Zhoushan, a major port in the east coast of Zhejiang province, at 12.30pm local time, with a maximum wind force of 38m per second, the China Meteorological Administration said. That is equal to about 137 kph, according to Reuters calculations.

"We will make every effort to ensure the safety of people's lives and property, and do everything to minimize disaster losses, and strive to achieve the goal of no deaths and few injuries and economic losses," said Mr Yuan Jiajun, the Zhejiang province Communist Party secretary, during an inspection of preparations on Saturday, official media reported.

Local authorities ordered schools, markets and businesses to close, and relocated more than 100,000 people, according to media.

Typhoon In-Fa, which means fireworks, will make landfall again in Zhejiang province's Jiaxing city and in commercial hub Shanghai's Pudong district later on Sunday, the National Meteorological Centre said.

"We will make every effort to ensure the safety of people's lives and property, and do everything to minimise disaster losses, and strive to achieve the goal of no deaths and few injuries and economic losses," said Mr Yuan Jiajun, Communist Party Secretary of Zhejiang province, during an inspection of preparations on Saturday, official media reported.

The Zhejiang emergency management department upgraded its typhoon response to the highest level on Saturday, closing schools and markets, and suspending road traffic when necessary.

Both Shanghai, home to about 26 million people, and Hangzhou to the south cancelled inbound and outbound flights from Saturday, and many train services in the region were also halted.

The Shanghai government said it would slow its subway trains, while Hangzhou authorities warned residents that underground trains would be suspended.

Shanghai Disneyland will close on Sunday and Monday because of the weather, the resort announced, while the city's Yangshan Port has evacuated hundreds of vessels, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Typhoon In-Fa hit as the Henan province in central China is still reeling from record rainfall last week. The storm cut off power and forced the relocation of more than one million people.

Flooding in the provincial city of Zhengzhou killed 12 people who were trapped in the subway system. Torrential downpours dumped a year's worth of rain in just three days in Henan, killing at least 63 people.

Workers attempt to move a fallen tree due to strong winds in Ningbo, Zhejiang, on July 25, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

Millions of others have been affected by those floods, with some trapped without fresh food or water for days, and economic losses have run into the billions of dollars.

China has suffered an annual summer flooding and typhoon season for millennia, but the record rainfall this past week in Henan has prompted questions about how cities could be better prepared for freak weather events, which experts say are happening with increased frequency and intensity due to climate change.

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