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August 13, 2011

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3 die as thunderstorm hits city

THREE people died when a thunderstorm hit Shanghai on Thursday night, local government officials said yesterday.

Two people were reported to have been killed by lightning while the third died when a shed collapsed in the gale.

The violent weather continued yesterday morning causing flight delays and flooding. Forecasters said storms could continue to hit the city throughout the next five days.

A total of 17 flights due to leave Shanghai yesterday morning from the city's two airports were delayed.

The storm also caused flooding in more than 30 roads in five downtown districts.

Water also flooded into residents' homes in more than 10 residential areas, sometimes up to 30 centimeters deep, said the Shanghai Flood Control Headquarters.

An underground crossing on Qilianshan Road was closed after it was submerged in rainwater 40cms deep.

The storm, which began at around 7:30am, lasted for almost two hours. Both lightning and rainstorm alerts were issued in the city.

In Zhenru, a town in Putuo District, rainfall of 98.3 millimeters was recorded in one hour, the highest in the city.

There was traffic chaos at morning rush hour, especially in Yangpu and Hongkou districts, because of flooding on the streets.

"I was late for work by three hours," said Iris Hu, an office worker in the Wujiaochang area of Yangpu District. "Vehicles were lining up in the water, moving as slowly as snails.

"It was also hard to walk, because the water flooded over my knees," he said.

Flood headquarter officials said that the streets had been cleared of water by around 10:30am.

Meanwhile, two escalators in the Caoyang Rd station on Metro Line 3 were shut down due to a leaking roof. The leak forced station workers to open an emergency exit to drain the flood and close off the escalators. But the leak didn't affect Metro operations.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said the maximum temperature this weekend will be around 33 to 34 degrees Celsius. From Monday, the daily high temperature will climb above 35 degrees.


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