typhoon chanthu shanghai shuts schools and businesses as huge storm approaches - Typhoon Chanthu: Shanghai shuts schools and businesses as huge storm approaches

Flights, trains and subways have been suspended by authorities in Shanghai as the city braces for Typhoon Chanthu, which is approaching China’s mainland after drenching Taiwan.

Schools and local businesses in China’s financial capital – which has a population of 26 million – were shut on Monday as the storm closed in on the country’s coast.

Chanthu was downgraded from a super typhoon to a strong typhoon, the city’s authorities said on Sunday through an official WeChat account.

The storm – with a wind speed of more than 170 kilometres per hour (km/h) near its eye – drenched Taiwan with up to five inches of rain on Sunday, before it headed off to Shanghai.

The storm is expected to move north across eastern China and then steer towards South Korea and Japan.

Earlier on Saturday, it slammed into the northern Philippines, forcing hundreds to flee their homes amid heavy downpours and strong winds, reported Reuters.

The Philippines’s weather bureau PAGASA had issued a Signal 4 – or “very destructive typhoon-force winds” – warning for the country’s Batanes province, located 678 km north of national capital Manila, reported CNN.

Packing sustained wind speeds of 205 km/h, the storm made landfall at Batanes and about 415 people were forced to evacuate, said the national disaster agency.

Zhejiang, a province in eastern China, has issued red alerts for flash floods in nine districts. Ningbo port – the country’s second-largest container transport hub after Shanghai which is located in Zhejiang – also suspended its operations on Sunday afternoon.

Tourist attractions – including Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown and Wishing Star Park – would also remain shut on Monday and Tuesday, reported Xinhua.

Rainfall of 250-280 millimetres is expected in some areas of Southeastern Jiangsu province, Shanghai and northeastern Zhejiang, according to official forecasts.

Chanthu formed on 6 September and underwent an extreme bout of rapid intensification as it increased its wind speed by 80 knots in 24 hours, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre, cited CNN.

The outlet reported that Chanthu is the second storm this year to have attained the status of a super typhoon after Surigae in April.

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