Wipha! Hit me baby one more time

Back two years ago I posted about being a bit let down that typhoon Matsa never quite hit Dalian as promised.

Well, looks like the (ahem) winds of fortune are changing and I might get my wish to finally experience a full-on typhoon (which is fancy Pacifician terminology for ‘hurricane’).

Typhoon Wipha, possibly the coolest (and most Chandler-esque) wet’n’windy name there ever was, has got everyone on high alert round these parts with Shanghai shuffling as many as 200,000 people in hopes no one will have their house fall on them – as that generally sucks … a lot.

From the AFP:

The typhoon, packing winds of 180 kilometres (112 miles) an hour, was gaining strength and expected to make landfall in east China around midnight, after gale-force winds and driving rains first swipe northern Taiwan.

Shanghai, a city of 17 million people, and the heavily populated neighbouring provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian were on high alert as officials warned residents to get ready for the worst.

Chinese meteorologists were particularly concerned that Wipha, which at 11:30 am (0330 GMT) was about 400 kilometres (248 miles) off shore, was becoming more powerful as it churned towards Shanghai.

“This is the first time in 10 years that the eye of the storm will probably make landfall in Shanghai,” said Ding Ruoyang, a meteorologist at the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Up to 200 millimetres (eight inches) of rain was expected to pelt the city, while winds could gust above 102 kilometres an hour, prompting officials to begin an evacuation of 200,000 people.

wp200713_5day.gifNow, if China’s fancy bullet trains can get from Shanghai to Suzhou in less than 35 minutes, I’m sure a cyclone isn’t going to have much trouble doing it.

It’s been rainy and windy most of the day today, and shows no sign of stopping. With landfall in the wee hours of the morning, I’m assuming I’m going to be waking up to winds that would make Dorthy wet herself – and her little dog too.

wp200713_sat.jpgAs Wipha (which incidentally is a girl or ladyboy’s name in Thai) is hitting Taiwan, Fujian and other points south of here first – I hope fiLi, Ben, Chris and various Hangzhou peeps have battened down the hatches and bought a day or two’s worth of 方便面.

I wonder if school will be canceled. As a kid who would avidly listen to horrible AM radio every morning there was even the slightest snow fall in hopes of a snow day announcement, I have to admit this excites me a little.

If you want to see the massive fury of the hurricane in a tiny little video – check this out.

12 Responses

  1. Standard Hangzhou typhoon drill in place for me. I’m going to be heading down to one of the local watering holes shortly in the hope of getting stuck there overnight.

    No doubt to disappointed once again.

    take care, p.

  2. It’s pouring here in Nanjing. Before I read your post I thought it was just a nice, heavy shower. (Hey, I don’t watch Chinese TV) I doubt any really damaging stuff will make it’s way this far inland, but we’ll see. (It is windy as hell…)

  3. Typhoon is the East Asian name. Down in the real Pacific we call them cyclones.

    But typhoons/cyclones/hurricanes draw their strength from warm sea water. They lose that energy source once they get inland, so you guys up in Nanjing will only get a tropical storm- still potential for some damage, but not as bad as what they’ll be getting in Zhejiang. I guess Suzhou is close enough to the coast for the typhoon to still have some oomph to it.

  4. wow a typhoon!!!!! well have you ever been through a typhoon before?Olympics 2008 are going to be a real challenge for china with duststorms and typhoons in the way….it is time chinese gave a thought to protecting their environment…..Special Economic Zones and other capitalistic extravaganza do have their pitfalls….Whatever your economy is if you cannot safeguard your environment i think it can lead to resource depletion and many such issues and problems which need to be looked at seriously by the chinese government….i think it is high time

  5. Typhoons are overrated. I was in Fujian for 3 years, and people would get all worked up over them, school would be canceled, people would call me afterword to make sure I had survived. All it is is a bunch of rain for 3 days. Not nearly as cool as a tornado or an earthquake.

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