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Thousands evacuated but storm keeps its distance

By Ni Yinbin, Zha Minjie and Yang Jian (Shanghai Daily)

07:38, August 28, 2012

Wind ruffles the hair of two pedestrians in Shanghai's Xujiahui area yesterday as Typhoon Bolaven brushed past the city last night before heading north toward North Korea. Most parts of the city were unaffected, though more than 2,100 vessels took shelter and at least 134 flights were cancelled. Meanwhile, Typhoon Tembin is expected on Thursday. (Shanghai Daily Photo)

TYPHOON Bolaven passed by Shanghai last night, leaving the city relatively unscathed despite the evacuation of people in coastal areas and the cancellation of more than 100 flights.

Bolaven, this year's 15th tropical storm, weakened from the highest level of super typhoon to the second highest of strong typhoon yesterday. It is heading north and expected to land in North Korea tomorrow morning, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

More than 10,450 people in the Pudong New Area were evacuated as Bolaven approached and almost 12,000 trees in Hongkou and Pudong districts had been secured to prevent damage, the bureau said.

Winds strengthened a little in Shanghai's urban areas at around 7pm when Bolaven was on the same latitude as the city, but its influence was limited and most parts of the city were unaffected.

The distance between Shanghai and Bolaven was never less than 400 kilometers, which meant most of the city avoided the strong gales and heavy rain it brought with it. The effect of the typhoon was felt more in coastal areas than in urban Shanghai.

High winds and gales were reported at adjacent Zhoushan, close to Shanghai's Yangshan Deep-Water Port. Waves were as high as nine meters, maritime officials said. The Donghai Bridge, connecting Shanghai to the port, was closed yesterday afternoon.

More than 2,100 vessels and ships had been asked to take shelter in harbors, the maritime administration said.

Ferry services to the city's three islands were shut and will remain closed today due to the weather.

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