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Monday, August 10, 2009

Typhoon Morakot brings Shanghai shipping to a standstill

Shanghai: Typhoon Morakot, which slammed into the southeast coast of China yesterday, has brought shipping to a standstill at the world’s largest port, Shanghai. Ships are unlikely to get underway till Tuesday evening based on current weather forecasts. The typhoon, which hit Taiwan and then Zhejiang, saw more than 35,000 ships called in to port across China.
Shanghai is expected to feel the main impact of Typhoon Morakot today and tomorrow with torrential rain and strong winds forecast as the city prepares for emergency responses.
Morakot will dump rain ranging from 60 to 90 millimeters per hour in most parts of the city, rising to an incredible 150 millimeters per hour in some southern areas, according to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
Wind speeds are expected to hover around 74 kilometers per hour in downtown areas and may even reach 117km/h around Yangshan Deep-Water Port.
Surges of about 4.5 meters high are predicted on coastal seas today.
More than 100 ships had been affected, either canceling or postponing their trips, local port immigration authorities said last night.
Twenty ocean freighters at Waigaoqiao Port had canceled departures since 2pm on Saturday.
Wusong Port said nearly 40 overseas ships had canceled or delayed departures or docking since Thursday.
More ships will be affected as winds strengthen and seas become rougher, according to immigration police. [10/08/09]