Shanghai's Yangshan port halts operations as Typhoon Hinnamnor strengthens

Shanghai's maritime authority has raised its emergency response level while it readies measures against Hinnamnor, which has strengthened into a super typhoon. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING/SEOUL - Shanghai's major container port of Yangshan has suspended terminal operations as Typhoon Hinnamnor approaches the east China coast, state media CCTV reported, citing the local maritime authority.

The authority has raised its emergency response level while it readies measures against Hinnamnor, which has strengthened into a super typhoon with a maximum wind force of 52m per second, according to data from the China Meteorological Administration.

Ningbo city and Zhoushan city in nearby Zhejiang province will close schools on Monday because of the typhoon, according to statements from the local governments. Ningbo has also activated its highest level of emergency response, CCTV said.

Based on its current trajectory, it is unlikely that Hinnamnor will make landfall in Zhejiang or nearby areas, CCTV said, citing the latest forecast, although China's east coast is likely to be struck by heavy winds and rain over the next three days.

The typhoon is tracking northwards towards South Korea - where it is expected to be one of the strongest tropical storms to hit the country - and western Japan.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, the typhoon is forecast to arrive 460km south-west of Jeju Island on Monday at 9am local time.

As a result of the approaching typhoon, most parts of South Korea received heavy rain on Sunday, with Jeju Island seeing up to 273.5mm of rain on Hallasan, South Korea's highest mountain.

Hinnamnor is expected to be as strong as Typhoon Maemi in 2003, which struck the country in 2003. The typhoon disaster left 117 deaths, 13 missing and poverty damage worth over 4 trillion won (S$4 billion).

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo has called for schools to close or switch to online learning until Tuesday.

The typhoon has affected airline arrivals and departures in the nearby Japanese prefecture of Okinawa. Japan Airlines said that so far on Sunday it had cancelled 78 flights, affecting 3,930 passengers, while ANA Holdings halted 27 flights, affecting 1,280 people.

Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau also warned of extremely heavy rain in some areas and that vessels sailing in the north of the island should be on their guard.

BLOOMBERG, THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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