Up to two million people have been evacuated from China’s financial capital, Shanghai, after a powerful storm reached the coast. It is feared Typhoon Wipha, with winds of up to 200 kilometres an hour, may prove to be the worst storm to pound the region for ten years. Heavy rains and winds have already grounded flights in and out of Shanghai International Airport.
The authorities say the city’s Stock Exchange may be forced to close if the situation worsens. The areas lying in Wipha’s path are some of China’s most economically developed and densely populated.
Northern Taiwan had a taste of the typhoon’s fury yesterday. State television showed images of waves of up to ten metres pounding the coast. Vessels were ordered to return to shore and ferry services were suspended. It is estimated Wipha will bring up to 200 millimetres of rainfall, meaning inland areas also face the added threat of flooding and landslides.