East China on highest alert as Typhoon In-Fa lingers
China's eastern coast has been put on the highest alert as Typhoon In-Fa made a second landfall Monday morning, bringing downpours to surrounding regions.
Typhoon In-Fa – the sixth of this year – landed in the coastal waters near Pinghu, a county-level city under the administration of Jiaxing City, east China's Zhejiang Province, at around 9:50 am Monday, packing winds of up to 28 meters per second at its center, according to the provincial flood control headquarters.
"I've seen typhoons before, but it is my first time to see such a huge amount of rainfall. The river behind me was just a creek where tourists often come for leisure and fishing. Now, even my log cabin is about to be inundated," said Chen Zefeng, owner of an agritainment in Zhejiang's Shaoxing City.
All high-speed trains passing through the cities of Shanghai, Hangzhou and Ningbo have halted service. As of 9:30 am Monday, nine major flood monitoring stations in Jiaxing exceeded the warning water level, of which eight exceeded the guaranteed water level.
At around 10 am, roads near the gymnasium in Pinghu City saw waterlogging with a depth of about 10 cm. No major disaster-related incidents have been reported in Jiaxing as of 11 am
Wang Ping, deputy director of the emergency response center of the port area in Jiaxing, said they have prepared about 170,000 cubic meters of soil to combat the typhoon. About half of the 44 chemical enterprises in the port area suspended production, while the rest reduced production capacity.
Typhoon In-Fa has affected over 114,000 people in Jiaxing and damaged more than 267 hectares of crops and 1.33 hectares of aquafarms, causing direct economic losses of over 4.67 million yuan (about 721,000 US dollars). Over 155,000 people have been evacuated to safety.
Typhoon In-Fa triggered power outrages across Zhejiang, affecting 2.68 million households. However, 95 percent of the power supply has been restored as of 9 am, thanks to the efforts of more than 22,000 repair workers.
Qian Yeqiu, head of the Emergency Management Agency of Jiaxing, said that it is quite rare for the typhoon to land head on in Jiaxing, which is a big challenge for the city's flood control.
Old seawalls along the Hangzhou Bay and earth embankments in the rural areas were the main focus in flood-control efforts as they may not be able to survive prolonged immersion, explained Qian.
"It is the harvest season for fruits like peach and grapes in Jiaxing, so the gales and heavy rainfall brought by Typhoon In-Fa will definitely cause tremendous losses for the farmers," added Qian.
In the neighboring megacity of Shanghai, Typhoon In-Fa had uprooted over 19,560 trees and inundated a large area of cropland over the past two days in Jinshan District, which is closest to In-Fa's second landing point.
The district activated the highest-level emergency response for flood on Monday. Large supermarkets, kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, museums, scenic spots and libraries have all been told to remain shut. Rail service in Jinshan was also halted on Sunday and Monday.