Eastern China on alert as Typhoon In-fa makes landfall

Flights, train services in Shanghai area hit; shops close as 100,000 people are evacuated

A man pushing a scooter in a flooded street in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, yesterday as Typhoon In-fa lashed the eastern coast of China.
A man pushing a scooter in a flooded street in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, yesterday as Typhoon In-fa lashed the eastern coast of China.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BEIJING • China's national observatory yesterday maintained its orange alert over Typhoon In-Fa, which made landfall in Zhejiang province in the east at about noon.

At 5pm yesterday, the centre of Typhoon In-Fa was in the district of Dinghai, in Zhoushan city.

It packed a gale force of 38 metres per second, according to the National Meteorological Centre.

Moving north-westward at about 10kmh, In-Fa will make another landfall in coastal areas from Pinghu in Zhejiang province to Pudong in Shanghai, the centre reported. The typhoon was expected to bring gale-force winds and rainstorms to regions including Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu from last night to this evening.

China has a four-tier colour-coded weather warning system, with red the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

The Chinese commercial hub of Shanghai and its neighbouring coastal regions cancelled all flights, slowed or suspended subway trains and shuttered businesses as In-fa made landfall.

More than 100,000 people were evacuated before it made landfall.

The storm hit as central China is still reeling from record flooding that killed at least 58, cut off power and forced the relocation of more than one million people.

"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, Zhejiang province's Communist Party secretary, when inspecting preparations last 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 the speed of its subway trains, while the Hangzhou authorities warned residents that underground train services would be suspended. Flooding in the central city of Zhengzhou last week killed 12 people who were trapped in the subway system.

Meanwhile, at least three people died and five have been injured in the northern Philippines after days of intense monsoon rain, the authorities said yesterday.

Thousands of people in Manila were moved out of low-lying communities on Saturday as the heavy downpours, compounded by a tropical storm, flooded the city and nearby provinces. The national disaster agency said about 15,000 people, mostly from a flood-prone Manila suburb, had been moved to evacuation centres.

REUTERS, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2021, with the headline 'Eastern China on alert as Typhoon In-fa makes landfall'. Subscribe