Writers on the Storm
[updated at bottom with schedule changes]
I woke this morning fully expecting to be floating down the Huangpu River, or, if the current was just right, perhaps the magnificent Yangtze, which by the way I hear is lovely this time of year. I would be another faceless victim of that dastardly Typhoon Wipha, which was sure to flood Shanghai's immaculate subway system, turn People's Park and Yu Garden into sink holes and convert the seven-story Longhua pagoda into a sea buoy.
Lo and behold, barely a drop of rain had fallen. What a disappointment. The humidity was 99.9 percent and the winds were kicking up as the afternoon arrived, but still no monster storm. Oh Wipha, where art thou? We're told to expect something exciting this evening. Ooh......
Perhaps I should not make light of this storm, for it did do plenty of damage south of here. But for our selfish Shanghai purposes, here's the latest from Bloomberg News:
The eye is expected to pass within 100 kilometers of downtown Shanghai, Zhang Zhenyu, the head of Shanghai's natural disaster department, said by telephone today. "The storm won't have as big an impact as was earlier thought,'' he said. Shanghai evacuated 200,000 people and closed schools and kindergartens in the city ahead of the storm. Shanghai's two airports are operating today, after some flights were delayed or canceled late yesterday, Zhang said. The airports will assess weather conditions as the storm approaches, he said. China Eastern Airlines Corp. and Shanghai Airlines Co., the city's two biggest carriers, canceled 30 flights, according to the two companies. Construction of the 101-story Shanghai World Financial Center, China's tallest skyscraper, was halted yesterday, according to a statement on the Shanghai government's Web site.
Fearful of the impending mayhem and the impact on travel, the U.S. women's team remained at their downtown hotel and used the pool for exercise and conditioning. They are tenatively set to fly to Tianjin, site of Saturday's quarterfinal against England, on Thursday morning.
Just a reminder that I will take your soccer questions during a live online chat on washingtonpost.com Wednesday at 11 a.m. Eastern time (very late Wednesday my time). Click here to submit a question or to read the transcript later.
The Australia-Canada and China-New Zealand games scheduled for today have been moved to Thursday to ensure that all group finales are played simultaneously. FIFA said it was not able to make that decision until today because of weather uncertainties.
So no games today, four games tomorrow:
Canada-Australia and Norway-Ghana at 5 a.m. Eastern
Brazil-Denmark and China-New Zealand at 8 a.m. Eastern
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