Typhoon Wipha Threatens Shanghai

September 18, 2007

Typhoon Wipha, the season’s 13th named storm in the Western Pacific, is on a course to come ashore on the Chinese mainland early Wednesday morning, local time.

The storm is currently over open water north of Taiwan. Sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/hr) make Wipha an extremely dangerous Category 4 “super typhoon.”

Heavy rains and high winds caused Taiwanese authorities to close schools and ground flights. Most commercial activity also came to a standstill.

If Wipha holds to its current forecast track the eye of the storm would pass just to the west of Shanghai, China’s financial center, later on Wednesday.

Local authorities are warning the City’s 14 million residents to prepare for Wipha’s arrival. Some 200,000 people, living in especially exposed areas, have been moved to shelters.

Wipha is the first storm to directly threaten Shanghai since Typhoon Winnie in 1997.

Source: News reports (BBC, Xinhua)

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