Shanghai was slowly returning to normalcy late yesterday after Typhoon Ampil lashed the city in the afternoon, forcing the evacuation of thousands from the coastal areas and disrupting public services.
Ampil made landfall on Chongming Island at 12:30pm, packing winds of up to 28 meters per second. The island is 45km east of downtown and at the mouth of the Yangtze River.
Gusty winds and heavy rain pummeled the city with districts of Chongming and Baoshan and the Pudong New Area among the severely hit, the Shanghai Water Authority said yesterday. But much of the downtown areas escaped with little rain.
The yellow alert for rainstorm, which was still active till late evening, was lifted at 8pm.
By wee hours of Sunday, 192,727 people had been relocated to safety, Shanghai’s flood control headquarters said yesterday, and over 1,600 ships were called back to port.
Shanghai’s two airports were forced to cancel nearly 800 flights yesterday, and high-speed rail services were also disrupted.
By 4pm yesterday, the weather observation center in Hengsha in Chongming recorded 112.9 millimeters of precipitation. Baoshan recorded accumulated rain of 79.2 millimeters and Pudong had 68 millimeters, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
Despite the gale and storm, the water levels did not reach crisis level, authorities said.
Ampil is the 11th typhoon to hit Shanghai since 1949 but only the third to make landfall in the city — the previous two being in 1977 and 1989 that left a trail of destruction.
By 3pm yesterday, Ampil had moved to Qidong in Jiangsu Province, and by 4pm the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau had removed the orange alert for typhoon and replaced it with an yellow alert for gale.
The State Grid of Shanghai said it had sent out 2,875 emergency workers to fix power outages across the city.
Electricity was restored to the 17,153 families, most of them in Chongming, by 5pm yesterday, the State Grid said.
By late evening yesterday, flights were taking off and other public transport services had begun to resume.
At 8pm, all ferry services was back in operation.
The air traffic control authority scaled down the flight delay alert to the third yellow level around 2pm from the top red alert in the morning.
By 7pm yesterday, the takeoff and landing of 505 flights were cancelled at Pudong International Airport, and 275 at the Hongqiao airport, the Shanghai Airport Authority said.
China Eastern Airlines said the delayed flights were taking off by 5:30pm.
Over 600 flights had taken off or landed at the Pudong and Hongqiao airports by early evening.
A long line of passengers could be seen at the airline counters looking for refunds or rescheduling flights.
Railways had also resumed normal services after 5pm yesterday.
The China Rail Company said it had suspended operations of all high-speed trains on the Shanghai-Ningbo and the Shanghai-Hangzhou line from 9am to 5pm yesterday.
Workers patrol the Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in Baoshan District yesterday.
The Wusongkou International Cruise Liner Port in Baoshan District was operating by midnight yesterday, and two large-size cruise liners, the Quantum of the Seas and MSC Splendida, were scheduled to arrive in Shanghai today.
The sightseeing cruise tours on the Huangpu River were also canceled yesterday.
Speed restrictions on Metro Line 16 and the east extension of Line 2 from Lingkong Road Station to Pudong International Airport were lifted at 5:30pm.
Metro operation between Gangcheng Road and Jufeng Road stations on Line 6, which was suspended, was restored at 5:30pm, while the Pujiang Line service was restored at 6pm.
The weather forecast for today and tomorrow is cloudy to overcast, with scattered showers.
Rains will stop on Wednesday and mercury will begin to climb to 35 degrees Celsius.
A number of tourist attractions such as Zhujiajiao and Fengjing watertowns were closed yesterday.
Parks and scenic spots will reopen today, the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau and Shanghai Tourism Administration.
Shanghai Disney Resort said it was operating normally, but had suspended some outdoor attractions and performances during periods of heavy rain or high winds.
Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in China, had suspended rooftop sightseeing.