Shanghai’s municipal authorities closed schools and most public transport services, battening the hatches to prepare for Typhoon Chanthu, the most severe tropical storm to make landfall in China’s commercial hub in years. Flights were cancelled at the city’s Hongqiao and Pudong airports, while high-speed train services coming into and leaving from the city were halted, according to local media. Operations at the Yangshan deep water port, the world’s largest container harbour for the past decade just outside Shanghai, were also suspended. “Suspension of schools and transport services are the necessary steps taken to cope with the typhoon,” said Li Qiang, the Communist Party secretary of the city of 25 million people, according a statement on the municipal government’s website. “Authorities should be fully prepared to offer relevant disaster-relief support and services.” The typhoon, estimated to pack wind speed of up to 170 kilometre per hour near its eye, is expected to reach Shanghai on Monday night. It is likely to cause more damage than In-fa that struck in late July. The current storm system formed in early September near the Philippines, moving northwards towards the east coast of Taiwan before approaching the eastern coastline of mainland China. Chanthu, which means flower in Khmer, has been used to name four typhoons since 2004. Although it was downgraded from a super typhoon to a strong typhoon on Sunday, it may still pack enough of a punch to deliver up to 28 centimetres (11 inches) of rain in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, according to the local meteorological department. All flights out of the Pudong airfield, one of China’s major international gateways located east of the Huangpu river closer to the coast, were halted after 11am, while services at the Hongqiao airport further inland were suspended after 3pm. The Pudong airport handled about 1,000 flights everyday in November 2020, according to government data. All schools were called off, from kindergartens to high schools, effective through Tuesday, as children were ordered to stay indoors to shield them from the storm. The Yangshan port , which handled 43.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of container cargo last year, suspended operations, according to the Shanghai International Port Group, the operator of the largest shipping terminus since 2010. “One or two days of shutdown will not be a big issue for the shipping industry,” said Lu Ming, an agent at Shanghai Ocean Shipping Agency. “The port operator and port authority will be able to accelerate container and vessel flows at the terminals after the storm.” Still, electronic scriptless trading continued apace in the stock market, with the Shanghai A-share index advancing to close the day 0.3 per cent higher. It was reported that Chanthu caused some power outages before it passed by Taiwan’s east coast on the weekend. Rain began dumping in Shanghai on Sunday while some parents of primary school students were forced to take Monday off to look after their kids. “I had to take holiday for these two days now that school is suspended,” said Chen Jianming, father of a middle school student in Pudong. “Like me, many parents had to sacrifice their work to stay home and spend the one and a half days with the children.” Shanghai is also home to the country’s tallest building, a 632-metre (2,073 feet) skyscraper with 127 storeys called Shanghai Tower . An observation tower at level 121 was closed to the public until further notice in preparation for the typhoon, according to an announcement. Still, tenants are turning up for work, including hospitality staff and guests at the J Hotel, the world’s tallest hotel . Five Metro lines, mostly located in Pudong, were temporarily suspended on Monday as Chanthu approached Shanghai. Drenched weather resulted in a gridlock on Shanghai’s elevated roads on Monday morning. Local police said the roads turned out to be more congested than usual while more traffic accidents were reported during the rush hours. Shanghai police said the call centre received more than 50 reports from 7am to 9am on emergencies caused by bad weather. Most of the cases resulted from fallen trees and falling objects from high places. In Shanghai’s neighbouring Zhejiang province, officials have upgraded its emergence response to Chanthu to the highest level on Sunday, with schools, air and rail services in several cities such as Ningbo suspended.