BEIJING, China — Hundreds of flights were grounded and tens of thousands of residents evacuated in Shanghai on Monday, as Typhoon Chanthu brought strong winds and rain to the eastern Chinese metropolis.
City authorities have moved at least 28,000 people from at-risk neighbourhoods, with the storm expected to make landfall on Monday evening, state broadcaster CCTV reported.
Chanthu produced eight-metre high waves as its centre approached Shanghai’s coast on Monday afternoon, according to the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Centre.
Most flights out of Shanghai’s Pudong and Hongqiao Airports were cancelled by Monday afternoon, 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 kilometres per hour (160 miles per hour), 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 on Monday — 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.