SEE UPDATES BELOW
And no, that is not the name of some rock band! If you woke up today wondering where everyone in your neighbourhood has gone, pack up all your belongings RIGHT NOW and leave.
From the AP, via TIME:
China’s commercial center of Shanghai was evacuating 200,000 people on Tuesday ahead of the expected arrival of Typhoon Wipha, potentially the most destructive storm to hit the city in a decade, local media reported.
Whipping up waves up to 36 feet high, Wipha was moving northwest across the sea north of Taiwan and was forecast to make landfall south of Shanghai early Wednesday, weather reports said.
“The typhoon is very likely to develop into the worst one in recent years. We are still observing it. It’s hard to say at this moment,” said a man who answered the phone at the city’s meteorological bureau. As is common with Chinese officials, the man identified himself only by his surname, Fu.
Don’t know what a typhoon looks like? Check out this video of our beloved CCTV journalists trying their darndest best not to get swept away by the typhoon while trying to do their job. Now, we have a meeting at 3pm later, and are wondering if we should get there by boat, yacht or submarine. But before that happens, we are preparing the pots and pans for tonight. Our 19th floor apartment faces the southeast, and everytime a typhoon lashes in, everything starts leaking and we have to swim from one room to another. Thank goodness we are not staying in this sh*thole any much longer!
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, 11:03 AM: Typhoon threat moves today’s Women’s World Cup match from Shanghai, reschedules others.
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, 11:09 AM: Shanghai Stock Exchange preparing unspecified “emergency measures.”
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, 11:17 AM: The eye of typhoon Wipha was in Wenzhou, 340 km south of Shanghai, at around 8 am today. It is supposed to be near Shanghai at 2 pm. Two million people have been evacuated along China’s eastern coast.
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, 11:30 AM: They are calling it a “super typhoon.”
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, 11:32 AM: Man electrocuted in Zhabei District. Lots of flights delayed or canceled (because of the storm, not the electrocution).
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, 11:51 AM: “All bullshit” and “not even raining” according to Shanghaiist commenters. Hopefully they are right (although we’d like to leave the office early).
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, 12:07 PM: Shanghai blogger Adam Minter is live-blogging the typhoon. His latest update reads: “Still no typhoon in Shanghai.” He’s getting his satellite images from hurricanezone.net.
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, 12:17 PM: Typhoon “losing strength“:
Forecaster Tropical Storm Risk downgraded Wipha to a category one typhoon that would weaken further into a tropical storm as it headed north towards Nanjing.
Its projection showed the eye of the storm passing some 250 km (155 miles) to the west of China’s financial hub, Shanghai, within 24 hours.
So that means they probably moved the Shanghai World Cup match closer to the eye of the storm, in Hangzhou. Also, the diminishing strength of the storm may make this story about possible disruptions to the Shanghai metro moot.
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY, 12:40: “The storm won’t have as big an impact as was earlier thought,” according to Zhang Zhenyu, the head of Shanghai’s natural disaster department. We changed our headline from “Typhoon Wipha coming to town!” to “Typhoon Wipha coming to town?”