China said today that it had evacuated nearly 500,000 people as Typhoon Muifa approached but the storm was likely to miss the commercial capital Shanghai.
The typhoon, originally expected to make landfall near Shanghai, could blow by the city and instead move north towards Shandong province, the National Meteorological Center of China said in a statement on its website.
Muifa was still packing winds of up to 144 km per hour, it said.
Shanghai weather officials were quoted by local media as saying the typhoon could still make landfall in China, perhaps near Qingdao city, famous for Tsingtao Beer.
Separately, the official Xinhua news agency said more than 10 boats carrying some 200 fishermen were missing off China’s eastern coast due to the storm.
But an official in the eastern province of Zhejiang, near where the boats went missing, told AFP the vessels had been found. China had already called more than 10,000 boats back to port ahead of the storm.
Shanghai began mass evacuations on Saturday, moving nearly 200,000 people to safety, Shanghai television said. China’s eastern Zhejiang province had evacuated more than 206,000 and southern Fujian province another 80,400, Xinhua said.
The typhoon was originally forecast to be Shanghai’s worst since 2005, when Typhoon Matsa killed seven people and caused 1.3 billion yuan ($202 million) in damage.