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China evacuates thousands as Typhoon Chanthu nears Shanghai

September 14, 2021
Nearly 330,000 people in Shanghai have been evacuated as the city braced for heavy rains and strong winds brought by Typhoon Chanthu, Chinese authorities announced Tuesday.
Nearly 330,000 people in Shanghai have been evacuated as the city braced for heavy rains and strong winds brought by Typhoon Chanthu, Chinese authorities announced Tuesday.

BEIJING — Nearly 330,000 people in Shanghai have been evacuated as the city braced for heavy rains and strong winds brought by Typhoon Chanthu, Chinese authorities announced Tuesday.

According to Xinhua news agency, Shanghai meteorological center said that Chanthu was forecast to linger over seawaters between 100 km and 200 km east of Shanghai from Monday night to Wednesday before weakening and moving northeastward away from the city on Thursday.

Parts of Shanghai are forecast to receive precipitation of up to 250 mm from Monday night to Wednesday. Local authorities also have canceled 150 long-distance buses, suspended some shipping and rail transit services, and closed 112 tourist attractions to brace for the typhoon.

The provincial meteorological center of east China's Jiangsu Province issued a yellow alert, the third-highest alert, for Typhoon Chanthu Monday.

The education authorities in the city of Nantong, Jiangsu Province, have ordered the suspension of classes at kindergartens and primary and high schools on Tuesday.

Typhoon Chanthu, the 14th typhoon to hit China this year, as it flooded Taiwan Sunday, after which precautionary measures were taken.

The storm was downgraded over the weekend, but Shanghai officials maintained an orange typhoon alert for Tuesday as Typhoon Chanthu brought strong winds and rain to the eastern Chinese city.

Chanthu produced eight-meter high waves as its center approached Shanghai's coast this afternoon, according to the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Centre.

Most flights out of Shanghai's Pudong and Hongqiao Airports were canceled, according to flight tracking service Flightradar24, while Shanghai Disneyland said it would be closed until Tuesday.

Chanthu morphed rapidly from a depression into a super typhoon, with wind speeds of up to 257 km/ph, after it first emerged last week in between Guam and the Philippines.

The storm was downgraded over the weekend, but Shanghai officials maintained an orange typhoon alert — the second-highest warning level — and urged residents to "stop outdoor activities and large-scale meetings".

Footage from CCTV showed workers in plastic ponchos going from door to door to warn residents of the storm on Sunday night.

Subway trains have been suspended, and the city government has ordered all elementary and middle school students to stay home from Monday afternoon to Tuesday.

The storm travelled up the eastern coast of Taiwan on Sunday without making landfall, prompting authorities there to suspend ferry services and shut down public venues.

Scientists have long warned that typhoons are becoming more powerful, and strengthening more rapidly, as the world becomes warmer because of man-made climate change. — Agencies


September 14, 2021
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