News World Typhoon Ampil hits Shanghai transport, shipping links

Typhoon Ampil hits Shanghai transport, shipping links

Dark clouds hang over the Shaoxing skyline as Typhoon Ampil approaches on Sunday in Zhejiang Province. Photo: Getty
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Typhoon Ampil has hit Chinese financial hub Shanghai, bringing heavy rain and disrupting transport and shipping.

More than 600 flights from the city’s two airports were cancelled and high-speed rail services also affected, state broadcaster CCTV said early on Sunday afternoon, local time.

More than 220,000 people were evacuated from flood-prone coastal areas in eastern China before the expected arrival of Typhoon Ampil.

In Shanghai and its metropolitan area, almost 193,000 inhabitants from the areas considered most at risk were evacuated on Sunday morning to shelters and even construction sites, state-owned news agency Xinhua reported.

Another 38,000 people were evacuated in neighbouring Zhejiang province, while close to 23,000 fishing boats returned to ports throughout the region.

The National Meteorological Centre issued a yellow alert for the typhoon, whose winds could reach up to 110 km/h.

Xinhua reported that Ampil, which is the 10th typhoon this year, made landfall on the island of Chongming off Shanghai at 12.30pm on Sunday, local time, packing winds of up to 28 metres per second near its eye, the municipal meteorological observatory said.

The island, about 45 kilometres east of downtown Shanghai, is at the mouth of the Yangtze River.

The Shanghai municipal flood control headquarters said it had relocated a total of 190,000 people from coastal areas by early Sunday morning.

Shanghai Disney Resort said it would continue operating, but would suspend some outdoor attractions and performances during periods of heavy rain or high winds.

Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in China, has suspended rooftop sightseeing.

In neighbouring provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu, more than 42,500 people were also relocated. More than 28,000 ships including 22,900 fishing boats have returned to port in Zhejiang.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms in recent weeks have caused havoc across China, with floods along major rivers destroying bridges, blocking roads and railways and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate.

-with agencies