A super typhoon is heading into the East China Sea toward Shanghai with winds up to 198 kilometres per hour at its core, authorities have warned.
The typhoon is expected to approach the Chinese coastline late Saturday night.
"If Typhoon Muifa ends up making landfall in the expected area, there is the definite likelihood of port operations being affected, and some damage could well occur," warns Jeffrey Landsberg of Commodore Research & Consultancy, the Port Strategy reports.
According to Landsberg, the ports most likely to be concerned include Taizhou, Wenzhou, Zhoushan, Ningbo, Shanghai, Jiangyin, Nanjing, and Nantong. However, it is also possible that activity at the more northerly ports including Rizhao and Qingdao will also be impacted.
Taking preventive measures, Chinese authorities have begun ordering fishing boats back to shore, while Japanese officials have cancelled flights in Okinawa, causing important travel disruptions and affecting hundreds of passengers.
Late Thursday, Typhoon Muifa was positioned near the Ryukyu Islands, midway between Japan's main islands and Taiwan and China's National Marine Environmental Forecasting Centre warned it could produce waves of six to nine meters.
In Shanghai, on the other hand, authorities warned the storm could be as powerful as 2005's Typhoon Matsa which killed four people and caused more than $15 million in damage.
Muifa claimed five lives as it passed through the northern and central Philippines earlier this week.