Almost 600 flights have been canceled in two international airports of China’s Shanghai as powerful typhoon Muifa gained strength in the East China Sea, forcing Beijing to issue red alert, media reported on Wednesday.
Shanghai airports have canceled a total of 589 flights, 322 from the Pudong international airport and 267 from Hongqiao, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.
Later in the day, the Shanghai Airport Authority said that both international airports have canceled all passenger flights.
“Due to the typhoon Muifa, the capacity of the Pudong and Hongqiao airports in Shanghai has significantly decreased. All passenger flights from Pudong airport starting 17:00 local time [09:00 GMT] and from Hongqiao airport starting 17:30 local time will be canceled,” the Shanghai Airport Authority said on Weibo.
The center of the typhoon is located about 115 miles southeast of Xiangshan county, eastern Zhejiang province, and the maximum wind speed reaches 157.5 feet per second.
The typhoon is expected to move in the northwestern direction at a speed of 12-15 miles per hour and approach the coast of Zhejiang province by Wednesday evening before heading toward Shanghai.
The name Muifa has been used for typhoons forming in the western Pacific Ocean. In 2011, typhoon Muifa approached a number of countries in the Pacific, including Japan, South Korea, China and the Philippines, and killed at least 20 people, causing damage worth some $480 million.