Catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide predicts typhoon Muifa is tracking across the Pacific and will hit mainland China this weekend.

The category 2 storm was responsible for displacing more than 14,000 households in parts of northern and central Philippines earlier this week and is likely to bring heavy rains and high winds, putting crop plantations in areas of north China plains and southern Manchuria at risk.

Apart from causing an orange alert for high waves in the East China Sea, Muifa is expected to cause landfall south of Shanghai on Sunday, August 7 in the afternoon (local time) and will continue to be in close proximity to the Chinese coast, thus generating a significant amount of precipitation.

According to the meteorological authorities in China’s eastern province Zhejiang, the storm, whose radius extends to about 220 km, was roughly 1,000 km southeast of the capital Fuzhou.

Muifa has already generated peak rainfall of around 300 mm over the past 24 hours and these figures could see a surge as it approaches warmer coastal waters and significant terrain.

According to Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Muifa’s maximum ten-minute sustained winds of 157 km/hr are expected to weaken due to environmental wind shear as it moves north over the Yellow Sea and towards North Korea.

The typhoon, whose intensity has been constantly reducing since July 31, bears similar character to Winnie – the typhoon that brought heavy rainfall and damage across eastern China in 1997.

According to AIR, China’s urban residents seem to be at an advantage over their rural counterparts.

Currently, most Chinese urban dwellers live in mid-rise or high-rise apartment buildings which, when exposed to lateral wind loads perform better than unreinforced masonry that is found in rural areas.

Wind damage to apartment buildings is typically restricted to non-structural components such as windows and balconies owing to superior materials and building practices being.

In contrast, commercial and industrial buildings are generally known to be more resistant to wind and water damage than residential ones.

Meanwhile AIR continues to monitor and provide updates concerning all developments in the northwest Pacific basin.