SHANGHAI, China — Texcare Asia 2007 — the largest industry show in the Far East — was scheduled to open on time today in Shanghai, even as residents braced for more heavy rains resulting from the worst typhoon to make landfall in China in a decade.
More than 2 million people were evacuated from Shanghai and the coastal provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang in advance of Typhoon Wipha. The “super typhoon” passed north of Taiwan early on Tuesday morning (local time), packing winds of more than 150 miles per hour.
Officials tracking Wipha’s path expected Shanghai — the country’s financial center and site of Texcare Asia — to take a direct hit. Instead, the storm made landfall about 300 miles south of the city in Zhejiang province, with sustained winds of more than 100 mph.
City officials cancelled school and called more than 500 commercial ships back to port in preparation for the storm on Tuesday. More than 70 flights have been cancelled or delayed.
Wipha has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, but continues to produce heavy rains, flooding and high winds throughout China’s Eastern seaboard as it moves to the north, passing west of Shanghai. The city of 17 million is likely to see two more days of heavy rains, however, matching Texcare Asia’s three-day run.
More than 100 exhibitors are scheduled to appear at the Sept. 19-21 event, drawing more than 5,000 visitors from throughout the world.