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July 22, 2021

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Shanghai goes on alert as In-Fa labeled ‘severe’

This year’s sixth typhoon, In-Fa, has been upgraded to a severe typhoon and is moving its way north, which may seriously affect Shanghai with heavy rain and gale-force winds, the city’s weather center said yesterday.

The eye of In-Fa was about 630 kilometers east of Yilan, Taiwan, at 8am yesterday morning, packing winds of up to 137 kilometers per hour, and will move westward at a speed of about 10 kilometers per hour, according to the National Meteorological Center.

In-Fa is forecast to move to the southern part of the East China Sea tomorrow, and make landfall in Shanghai’s neighboring Zhejiang Province on Sunday at the earliest.

Yesterday’s weather in Shanghai was cloudy in most areas, with temperatures ranging from 27 to 34 degrees Celsius.

Showers are expected from today with highs dropping to 31 degrees.

From tomorrow to next week, rainfall is expected to become heavier, with lightning and strong winds from In-Fa.

The mercury is expected to fluctuate between 27 and 30 degrees.

The city’s flood prevention office warned relevant local departments to stay updated on In-Fa, and be fully prepared for flooding and extreme weather.

Shanghai Metro said yesterday it has begun checking the functionality of the drainage systems, pumps and other waterproofing equipment.

The Metro authority said its weather alert system developed with the city’s meteorological service closely monitors weather conditions that could affect station operations, and ensures timely interventions during emergencies.

If heavy wind and rain sweep across the city, the company will deploy more staff to key spots at Metro stations, such as entrances, to monitor water levels.

Passengers won’t be allowed into stations when water enters and “seriously affects the operation of the service.”

And if tracks are fully immersed in water, trains won’t run, the company said.

Trains will reduce their speed or suspend services if it’s too windy to operate safely.

The city’s extendsive Metro network, the world’s largest, has 460 stations, including the Maglev line, and serves about 10 million people daily.

The city’s bus services are also preparing for the potential impact bad weather conditions.

Jiushi Group, the city’s major bus operator, said drivers will stop driving when they can’t clearly see the street 5 meters ahead during heavy rain.

And they will make sure water doesn’t get in the bus’ carriage, exhaust system and electrical appliances when passing through flooded streets. Otherwise, they’re supposed to slow down or take a detour that’s considered safer.

Bus companies said they will make sure buses operating during bad weather have no mechanical problems and closely monitor streets that flood easily, especially tunnels.

The city’s road transportation authorities said they will closely monitor the water levels at 608 underpasses considered to be especially vulnerable.

Once the water level of an underpass exceeds 25 centimeters, it will be closed.

The city’s 27,000 sanitation workers are fully prepared for the typhoon, and will step up cleaning work involving about 860 roads vulnerable to flooding to ensure smooth drainage, the city’s greenery and public sanitation authorities said.

Drills have been conducted in the Pudong New Area to prepare for emergencies, such as falling trees that could hit wires.

Emergency drills

Officials with the city’s greenery and public sanitation authorities have inspected businesses to prevent hazards imposed by falling signboards and lighting, especially in areas with big crowds and old facilities.

In Yangpu District, sanitation workers have cleared fallen leaves from drainage and manhole outlets.

Emergency drills have been conducted in the district’s riverfront along the Huangpu River.

In Xuhui District, a digital approach has been taken, enabling officials to eliminate safety hazards resulting from falling trees, signboards and flooding within 20 minutes with the help of automatic alarm systems.

Featuring a 23.3-kilometer-long coast line, Jinshan District had upgraded its data-backed monitoring platform before the flood season.

More than 20,000 cameras and 44 sensors have been installed to detect water-logged sections, which automatically monitor potential risks and sound alarms when dangerous situations are detected.

Officials’ phones are connected to the platform, so when an alarm goes off relevant officials can be reached immediately.


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