7 Aug 2011

Typhoon nears Chinese port city

8:40 pm on 7 August 2011

Authorities in the northern Chinese port city of Qingdao have shut beaches and piled sandbags along its waterfront in preparation for Typhoon Muifa.

The region's most powerful storm in years is forecast to hit the Shandong peninsula near Qingdao early on Monday.

Further south, the financial capital of Shanghai avoided a direct hit, though strong winds downed power lines and blew away billboards.

More than 300,000 people were evacuated.

Muifa has already left four people dead in the Philippines and 27 injured on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

The category-one typhoon is currently about 310km east-north-east of Shanghai, moving north-west over the East China Sea at about 23 km/h. Its winds are gusting at up to 138 km/h.

After hitting Shandong, it is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm.