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Shanghai on alert for storms

ONE man died as tropical storm Fung-Wong pounded Taiwan with torrential downpours and powerful winds yesterday and dozens of flights and ferry services were canceled.


Shanghai is bracing itself for bad weather today after forecasters warned of torrential rain and strong winds once the storm reaches the Chinese mainland.

The 50-year-old man who died drowned near his home in Peinan, a township in southeastern Taitung County, Taiwan’s Emergency Operation Center said, while another man in the county was injured by falling rocks.

The island had ordered 48,000 soldiers on standby while fishing boats were being advised to seek shelter at ports. Fung-Wong scraped the southern tip of the island at around 10am after it veered east away from its forecast route, the island’s weather bureau said.

It brought torrential rain and strong winds which whipped high waves off the south coast, forcing thousands of tourists and surfers to leave the popular Kenting area.
Packing winds of 90 kilometers per hour, Fung-Wong had dumped up to 60 centimeters of rain as it tracked north-northeast, the bureau said.

“As heavy rains could trigger landslides, people should stay away from the mountainous areas,” a bureau forecaster said as authorities evacuated more than 1,200 residents from areas prone to mudslides.

A total of 57 domestic and seven international flights were canceled and ferry services to the offshore islands and the Chinese mainland were also suspended.

Kaohsiung was on alert as authorities deployed water pumps to the main southern city, which is still recovering from a huge blast which killed 30 people and damaged a large part of its drainage system in July.

As of 5:30pm, the storm was 60 kilometers south of eastern Hualien City and moving north at 22 kilometers an hour, the weather bureau said.
It was the second tropical storm to hit Taiwan this year, after typhoon Matmo in July.

A TransAsia Airways domestic flight crashed after an aborted landing during Matmo, killing 48 people on board while 10 passengers survived.

In the Philippines, Fung-Wong claimed 10 lives, with roof-high floods forcing 83,000 people from their homes, after heavy rains paralyzed the capital Manila and nearby regions.

Shanghai forecasters said Fung-Wong was expected to bring heavy rain and strong gales to the city today after making landfall in coastal areas in neighboring Fujian and Zhejiang provinces.

The city’s weather bureau issued a blue alert at 5pm yesterday for possible level 8 gales within 24 hours, while the National Meteorological Center maintained a yellow alert.

China has a four-tier color-coded warning system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

The arrival of the typhoon is not expected to have much effect on temperatures in Shanghai, which forecasters say will fluctuate between 23 to 27 degrees Celsius today and tomorrow.

The heavy rain forecast for today will weaken tomorrow and die down by Wednesday afternoon, they said.

From then, cloudy weather will continue to the weekend with highs remaining at 27 degrees, according to the city’s forecasters.

The city’s flood prevention authorities are advising relevant departments to check on construction sites, cranes, trees, advertising boards, signboards and glass walls. Floodways are being drained in preparation for possible flooding.

Preparations are also being made for the evacuation of coastal area residents and ships are being advised to stay in harbor.

Police officers have been put on standby and will work with road authorities to monitor underpasses, while construction and traffic authorities are checking underground structures, including Metro stations, garages and squares.

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