Typhoon In-Fa, the powerful storm battering regions around Shanghai, has forced some of the world’s biggest shipping ports to halt operations until at least Tuesday.
All of Shanghai’s ports and some in neighboring regions remain shut after closing over the weekend due to the extreme weather, according to people familiar with the situation. The idled ports include Yangshan, part of the world’s biggest cluster of container terminals, which sits offshore to the south of Shanghai.
In-Fa slammed into Zhejiang province to the south of Shanghai on Sunday, prompting local authorities to evacuate more than 100,000 people and shut schools, markets and businesses. Shanghai, China’s financial hub, was hit hard by stormy weather over the weekend, with images of street flooding, flying debris and uprooted trees shared on social media.
The port stoppages will affect deliveries of container goods, oil products, liquefied natural gas and bulk shipments like grains, the people said. The ports may be able to resume as early as Tuesday, although that depends on the storm’s path, they added.
Calls to the Yangshan Port Maritime Safety Administration’s general office went unanswered. The administrator hasn’t shared any update on the port since Saturday, when it said on social media that all ships had been evacuated and all terminals had halted operations.
Shanghai’s terminals collectively handled about 43.5 million “TEU” last year, making the city as a whole the largest container port in the world, according to the Shanghai International Port Group. TEU is industry jargon for “20-foot equivalent units,” the standard measure for container ship capacity.
By late Monday afternoon, In-Fa was pushing northwest and heading for Jiangsu province, Shanghai’s city government said, citing the national meteorological bureau. While Shanghai authorities downgraded their typhoon alert for the city to “blue,” the lowest of four tiers, they warned that strong winds and rainstorms would continue.
Shanghai’s two major airports and some subway lines and high-speed rail service began re-opening Monday afternoon as the tropical cyclone powered past the city heading west.
China had earlier issued an orange alert for In-Fa, the second highest, and took major precautions ahead of the storm after last week’s historic flooding in central Henan province, where at least 63 people died.
Shanghai had relocated over 360,000 people as of 10 p.m. Sunday, mostly from the Pudong district, the China News Service said. No deaths or injuries had been reported.
Yangshan port evacuated hundreds of vessels, including all large container ships, as wind speeds off the coast reached up to 102 kilometers per hour (63 mph) over the weekend, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the port’s bureau of maritime affairs.
Shanghai’s benchmark stock index was down 2.3% by the end of Monday, after China continued its crackdown against private education companies.