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Shanghai Lowers Typhoon Alert Level as Muifa Weakens

·2 min read
Shanghai Lowers Typhoon Alert Level as Muifa Weakens

(Bloomberg) -- Shanghai dropped its typhoon alert to the lowest level and was gradually getting back to normal a day after Muifa disrupted daily activity with strong winds and heavy rain.

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The city restarted subway services early Thursday, and commuters were returning to work in the Lujiazui area, home to the nation’s stock market and major banks and insurers.

The storm made landfall in Zhoushan, near Ningbo, at 8:30 p.m. local time Wednesday and arrived in Shanghai around 12:30 a.m. Thursday. The storm had sustained winds of 92 miles per hour (148kph) on the US scale, according to the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

It was forecast to be the biggest to hit the Yangtze River Delta in 10 years, according to Beijing-based Caixin Media.

China issued the highest-level typhoon warning on Wednesday, the first time it has done so this year, according to state media.

Major container ports in Shanghai and Ningbo suspended operations on expectations of heavy rains, strong winds and high waves. It was unclear if they had reopened Thursday morning.

Liquefied natural gas import terminals in Ningbo, Zhoushan island and Jiangsu province also shut. Zhoushan port is home to some of China’s largest oil storage tanks and refineries.

The storm, plus maintenance on the country’s main import pipelines, will disrupt natural gas supply, according to Chinese consultant JLC.

Shanghai’s two major airports canceled all flights as of late afternoon Wednesday, after earlier in the day saying 589 had been scrapped. Nearby Hangzhou canceled more than 200 flights.

Over 380 trains in the Yangtze River Delta were suspended, and Shanghai Metro halted most of its services Wednesday night.

Schools in the region were closed, and Ningbo said it would halt most Covid-19 test requirements.

Insured losses from Typhoon Muifa could reach $1 billion if it inflicts flooding damage on eastern China, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Steven Lam.

The China Meteorological Administration expected the region could get 100-250 millimeters (3.9-9.8 inches) of rain in the 24 hours from Wednesday morning, Lam noted.

Muifa follows close behind Typhoon Hinnamnor, which brushed China’s eastern coast last week. That storm, while much more powerful, caused only minor disruptions.

Tropical Storm Nanmadol is growing in strength south of Japan and could hit that country early next week.

(Updates with Shanghai lowering alert level for the storm.)

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