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Shanghai braces for Typhoon Muifa

RESIDENTS have been evacuated, ships called back to port and flights canceled as Typhoon Muifa approaches east China's coastal areas.

Typhoon Muifa is likely to make landfall over Zhejiang Province or Shanghai during the weekend, Shanghai's meteorological station said today.

There is also a chance that Muifa may brush Shanghai and continue moving northward, according to the station.

Muifa, the ninth typhoon to hit China this year, was located about 630 km from Shanghai at 7am today and was moving northwestward at a speed of 18 km per hour.

More than 206,000 residents in the coastal areas of Zhejiang Province have been evacuated since yesterday.

A total of 75 flights scheduled to depart from Shanghai this afternoon were canceled, but no flights had been affected in the morning, according to Shanghai airport authority.

Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport in Zhejiang's capital Hangzhou saw the cancellation of 140 flights today. Air China canceled all inbound and outbound flights scheduled this afternoon, said airport staff.

Shanghai railway authorities have established an emergency response plan and stepped up inspection for high-speed railway facilities.

According to the plan, if Muifa packs winds of 62 km per hour in Shanghai, subway trains will be operated manually with a speed limit of 50 km per hour. If the wind speed is over 89 km per hour, the trains will be stopped.

Bullet trains will have various speed caps depending on the wind speed.

The trains' speed limit will be reduced to 200 km per hour if winds reach between 72 and 90 km per hour, while their speeds will be limited to 120 km per hour if winds reach between 90 and 108 km per hour, according to Nanchang Railway Administration which administers Fuzhou-Xiamen railway and part of Wenzhou-Fuzhou railway.

Bullet train services should be suspended if winds reach over 108 km per hour, according to the administration.

In Fujian, flood control authorities have called more than 5,000 fishing vessels back to harbor.

In Zhejiang, more than 4,000 vessels have been called back to harbor in the cities of Ningbo and Taizhou.

China's National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center issued a red alert for high sea waves, the highest alert in the four-level high wave warning system, at 8am today.

The center said that the East China Sea will see waves of 5 to 11 meters high from this morning to tomorrow morning, with waters at the Yangtze River's mouth experiencing waves of 3 to 6 meters high during the same period.

Waters near Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces will also see waves of 1.5 to 4.5 meters high, according to the center.

Muifa is expected not to get any stronger and could abate somewhat while sweeping along the eastern coastal area, according to the center.

The center is continuing its yellow alert for the storm, warning local authorities and the public to take precautions and intensify safety checks on fishing facilities.

The yellow alert is the second-lowest alert level in the country's four-level rainstorm alert system.


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