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2 million on the move as Haikui makes landfall

(Shanghai Daily)

09:07, August 09, 2012

A day when umbrellas proved to be useless as this family struggles to keep dry during their walk near the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Lujiazui. Most parts of Shanghai saw more than 100 millimeters of rain yesterday.
(Shanghai Daily/Wang Rongjiang)

TYPHOON Haikui struck eastern China yesterday, packing winds of up to 133 kilometers per hour, prompting the evacuation of nearly 2 million people and grounding hundreds of flights.

More than 1.5 million people in Zhejiang Province and more than 374,000 people in outlying parts and construction sites in Shanghai were relocated to safe shelters before Haikui landed in Zhejiang early yesterday.

More than 700 domestic and international flights to and from Shanghai's two airports were canceled, the Shanghai Flood Control Headquarters said last night.

No ships had been allowed in or out of Shanghai's ports, the world's busiest by container volume, since Tuesday night.

Landing at 3:20am yesterday in Xiangshan County of neighboring Zhejiang Province, Haikui, the 11th typhoon this year, brought strong gales and heavy downpours to Shanghai.

At 11.30am, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau upgraded a previous orange typhoon alert to red, the highest of a four-color warning system. It was the first red alert in the city's history.

Last night, the red typhoon alert was still in place, as well as an orange alert warning of heavy rainfall.

Nearly a third of the city suffered torrential rain with precipitation over 100 millimeters. Putuo District's Zhennanbei area suffered the most with 194 millimeters. Nearly 400 roads and 1,000 households were flooded, according to the headquarters.

Nearly 100,000 residents were affected by power cuts due to strong gales affecting electricity lines, according to the Shanghai Electric Power Co Ltd, the city's power supplier. More than 60 percent of affected households had their supplies restored by 5pm.

The city's power hotline, 95598, received more than 46,000 phone calls yesterday, 12 times the usual number.

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