Flights, trains suspended in Shanghai as strong typhoon approaches
Some train and flight services have been suspended as Shanghai gets ready for this year's 12th typhoon, Muifa.
More than 500 flights had been canceled at Shanghai's Pudong and Hongqiao airports by Tuesday afternoon with the approaching Muifa gaining strength.
At Pudong airport, more than 350 inbound and outbound flights were cancelled and several others delayed due to the gale and rainstorm brought by the peripheral rain band of the typhoon, which is expected to be one of the strongest this year.
More than 150 domestic flights were cancelled at Hongqiao airport, according to operational data at both airports.
China Southern Airlines canceled 25 departing and arriving flights at the two airports on Tuesday and another 11 flights for Wednesday, when the typhoon is expected to make landfall in neighboring Zhejiang Province.
The carrier plans to cancel all flights at Hongqiao airport between 3pm Wednesday and 2pm Thursday.
At Pudong airport, all of China Southern's arriving flights between 10am Wednesday and 2pm Thursday and departing flights between Wednesday noon and 2pm Thursday will also be grounded.
Additional ticket counters have been opened at Hongqiao airport to help passengers change or refund their tickets, the carrier said.
It has begun securing aircraft on tarmacs at Pudong and Hongqiao airports in preparation for the approaching typhoon.
The Shanghai-based China Eastern, Spring Airlines and Juneyao Airlines have also initiated a massive flight cancellation for Tuesday and Wednesday at both airports.
Part of train services in the Yangtze River Delta region have been suspended due to Muifa's impact, China Railway Shanghai Group announced on Tuesday.
The suspended trains from Shanghai include departures to Beijing and Kunming.
Passengers can have their tickets refunded for free online or they can go to the refunding windows with their ID within 30 days from the departure date showing on their tickets, said the group.
Apart from trains and flights, shipping services on some routes in suburban Chongming District, such as the high-speed ship between Chongming and Baoyang and high-speed ship between Baozhen and Baoyang, have also been suspended.
Forming on September 8, Muifa now is classified as a severe typhoon, and is predicted to make landfall between Wenling and Zhoushan in Zhejiang.
Its eye was 555 kilometers southeast of Shanghai, at 3pm on Tuesday, with wind power around its center up to 151 kilometers per hour, according to Shanghai weather authorities.
And it will move northwest at a speed of about 10 to 15 kph with its force gradually increasing.
Downpours and strong winds will keep lashing the city over the next three days.
Shanghai's flood prevention office has issued level-4 emergency response, the lowest in its four-tier system, to remind relevant departments to fully prepare for Muifa.
Besides the flight, train and ship suspension, it has asked related departments to halt operations of schools, tourist attractions and other enterprises if necessary.
Shanghai's police officers and firefighters have stepped up their efforts to ensure safety, including checking potential hazards such as advertising light boxes, glass walls as well as air-conditioners.
Metro, airport as well as border port and marine police are paying close attention to Metro schedule, local flights delays, train suspensions as well as ferry cancellations.
They will ensure stranded passengers are taken care of during the typhoon-approach period.
Shanghai's maritime safety officials also issued a level-four emergency response, the lowest in a four-tier system, on Tuesday to warn about shipping safety.
A total of 516 ships had been evacuated from the Yangtze Estuary and Yangshan waters as of 2pm on Tuesday.