Preparations underway as city braces for typhoon Ampil

The weather authority suggests residents stay home over the weekend as an approaching typhoon will bring gusts of wind and heavy rain.
Ti Gong

Workers cut branches around overhead cables in Shanghai on July 20, 2018, to prevent them from damaging wires in a possible upcoming hostile weather.

The weather authority suggests residents stay home over the weekend as an approaching typhoon will bring gusts of wind and heavy rain.

Tropical storm Ampil developed on Wednesday night on waters east of the Philippines. At 8am this morning, it arrived on waters 1,160 kilometers southeast of Xiangshan County in Zhejiang Province, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

It is moving northward at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour and is expected to enter the southern East China Sea Saturday morning. Ampil is very likely to make landfall in northern Zhejiang Province on Sunday.

But the weather authority hasn't ruled out the possibility that it may make landfall in Shanghai instead.

Later on, it will turn toward the northwest and weaken.

Gusty winds will start to blow across the city from tomorrow afternoon and heavy rains will begin from tomorrow night to Sunday, with an estimated accumulated rainfall of up to 150 millimeters in some regions.

Forecasters said the rain will last until Monday.

The city's infrastructure will face challenges as Ampil approaches, but preparations are being made.

State Grid Shanghai has mobilized more than 1,600 workers to stand by for possible emergencies during the weekend. Extra engineers and workers have been sent out to the major transformer substations across the city to reassure the power supply won’t be jeopardized.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A cleaner cleans a street drain in Shanghai on July 20, 2018.

Preparations in detail

Farmers are urged to clean up the garbage around their greenhouses near high-voltage power lines and substations in case anything is blown into the wires.

Shanghai Shentong Metro Groups will send out workers to elevated tracks such as Line 3, Line 4 and Line 9 to double check the sound barriers along the tracks are firm enough to withstand the gale. All advertising boards and drainage will be examined as well.

Metro operators will also reinforce patrolling manpower at spots more prone to flood like station exits and Metro construction sites.

On top of that, elevated and ground lines will face limited speeds if the gale is stronger than force 8. If winds reach force 10 then the Metro service will be suspended.

City traffic police have combed out 164 spots in tunnels and on bridges, streets and underground passages that are more likely to flood in heavy rain.

At construction sites around the city, workers are busy tying up steel and crane arms in case they fall off or hit high-rising buildings because of the wind.

Due to the possible hostile weather caused by Ampil, a large number of trains departing from or heading for Shanghai during the weekend have stopped selling tickets, mostly trains commuting along the east coast of China on July 22.

Railway stations in the city have also prepared emergency supplies. Passengers who have already bought tickets are advised to keep following China Rail’s WeChat or Weibo for updates.

The city's public sanitation authorities have ordered companies, businesses and property owners to conduct self-checks and have organized inspections to check facilities on high-rises. 

Companies or businesses will be ordered to adjust or dismantle facilities posing potential safety risk, and authorities warn they will do so themselves if action isn't taken in a timely manner.

Greenery authorities are reinforcing street-side trees, particularly trees on newly built green areas. Hanging flowers and vertical greenery are being checked to ensure that they will not fall down or collapse.

Safety checks on amusement facilities at parks have been enhanced and parks in the city will suspend operation in bad weather, according to the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau.

In addition, sanitation workers will clear garbage and sludge from manhole covers in a timely fashion, and authorities will enhance patrols in city's streets.

Disneyland said they will close outdoor recreation facilities and cancel shows in the open if the weather becomes hostile during the weekend.

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