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August 5, 2020

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Yellow alert as rains, winds lash Shanghai

TYPHOON Hagupit brought heavy rains and winds to Shanghai yesterday as it moved north after landing in neighboring Zhejiang Province.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued yellow alerts of rainstorms and lightning and blue alert of the typhoon.

The alerts are based on a four-tier color-coded warning system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

After reaching Zhejiang Province at 3:30am yesterday with a maximum wind force of 136 kilometers per hour, Hagupit began to weaken.

As it approached within 50km to 80km west of the city with a speed of 28kph, wind and precipitation in the city increased, the bureau said.

Winds of up to 88kph were expected to hit local coastal areas last night and up to 102kph at Yangshan Port, sufficient to uproot trees, the bureau reported. 

The city will see over 80 millimeters of precipitation in total for six hours from last night to today morning, the bureau said. Some areas are expected to experience torrential rain.

The Shanghai Airport Authority and airlines have reduced flights operating in the city.

Over 220 inbound and outbound flights have been canceled at the Pudong and Hongqiao airports as of yesterday afternoon, while some 10 flights were delayed, according to the authority.

The Pudong airport was affected more severely, as over 180 flights were canceled early yesterday.

Air traffic controllers issued a yellow alert on flight delays. They predicted the takeoff and landing capacity at Shanghai’s two airports would be reduced by 20 percent through 7pm.

Controllers later updated the alert and predicted airports’ capacity will be further reduced by 30 percent till 2am today.

Airport staff has secured berthed aircraft, vehicles as well as garbage bins and other equipment to gear up for wind and rains brought by the typhoon, according to the authority.

Zhou Guanbo, an official with the National Meteorological Center, said Hagupit, with a radius of about 160km, was smaller than other typhoons but, at a speed of over 20kph, moves faster.

The city’s flood prevention bureau has made preparations for rainstorms. Water conservancy departments have lowered river levels. Pumping stations have been maintained in advance to prepare for emergencies. Drainage systems along the roads have been cleaned.

Firms along rivers are required to shut flood gates to avoid tidal backflows.

Billboards, air-conditioners, glass walls and high-rise decorations have been inspected to ensure safety and ensure no one gets hit by falling objects.

The flood prevention bureau is urging tougher safety management at key areas such as airports, Yangshan Port, the Lingang Special Area, construction sites and tourist attractions. Maritime crews and fishing vessels are required to stay in port.

Tourist attractions such as Jinshan City Beach, Langxia Ecological Park and Huakaihaishang Ecological Park have been shut from 3pm yesterday till 10am today.

The Bihaijinsha wharf scenic area in Fengxian District was also closed from 3pm with its reopening depending on the weather. 

Outdoor screenings for the 26th Shanghai TV Festival have been canceled at Xintiandi in Huangpu District, Kaiyuan Dizhonghai Business Plaza and Yun Jian Granary Cultural and Creative Park in Songjiang District, Daning Music Plaza and Life Hub at Daning mall in Jing’an District, Global Harbor Mall in Putuo District and Life Hub at Jinqiao Plaza in the Pudong New Area.

After a short relief brought by the typhoon, the hot weather is set to return, although the 13th solar term liqiu — the start of autumn — begins on Friday. The maximum temperature recorded at the Xujiahui meteorological center in Xuhui District yesterday was 31.3 degrees Celsius, and will rise to 33 degrees today before reaching 37 degrees on Sunday.

The official start of autumn — when there are five consecutive days of temperatures below 22 degrees — is not expected anytime soon.


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