Heavy rain was reported in the city of more than 20 million people as Typhoon Muifa approached in the evening. The Hong Kong Observatory classified it as a severe typhoon with maximum sustained winds of 155 kilometers (96 miles) per hour.

A major typhoon gathered strength Wednesday as it headed over open water toward the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai.

Heavy rain was reported in the city of more than 20 million people as Typhoon Muifa approached in the evening. The Hong Kong Observatory classified it as a severe typhoon with maximum sustained winds of 155 kilometers (96 miles) per hour.

All flights at Shanghai’s two main airports were canceled and authorities were evacuating people from construction sites and other risky areas, according to Chinese media reports.

The typhoon had been expected to make landfall in the afternoon in Zhejiang province, but it shifted slightly eastward, keeping it at sea and putting it on track for a direct hit on Shanghai.

All flights were canceled at Ningbo airport in Zhejiang and more than 11,000 fishing boats returned to port in the province, Chinese media said.

The requirement of a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours to enter buildings and other public areas in much of China was suspended in Ningbo, except at airports, train stations and highway entrances.

The storm’s latest track would take it through Jiangsu and Shandong provinces along China’s northeast coast after hitting Shanghai.

© Copyright LaPresse