Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shanghai praces for Typhoon Wipha

Although it is expected to weaken dramatically before reaching Shanghai in China, Typhoon Wipha could still be the most damaging storm to hit the area in a decade.

After passing over Taiwan, Wipha was still a Category 3 typhoon although it is expected to weaken to a tropical storm over the next 12 hours.

More than 2 million people have been evacuated throughout China ahead of the massive cyclone.

China's official government website issued a statement said to come from both President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao that "demanded that relevant provinces and cities strengthen their guard against the typhoon, increase implementation of defence measures ... and safeguard the lives and safety of the people"

Typhoons normally strike the Chinese coast during the summer months as they move northwest across the South China Sea from Southeast Asia.

Shaghai has evacuated 291,000 people and stopped all construction in the city. Two FIFA Women's World Cup matches scheduled for Wednesday in Shanghai and Hangzhou have been postponed to Thursday. The Shanghai match will be relocated to Hangzhou.

Pedestrian in Taipei walk through rain brought by Typhoon Wipha.AFP/Patrick Lin photo via Yahoo News.