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August 3, 2009

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Home » Metro » Public Services

City rain shows no sign of let-up

If you want to hear about Shanghai's big wet, talk to people in Fengxian District's Nanqiao Town, but don't expect a long conversation - they're too busy cleaning up.

From Saturday night up to last night the town received an incredible 300 millimeters of rain, equating to 25 percent of its annual average fall.

Large areas of the town were hit by water between 10 and 30 centimeters deep.

Similar depths were reported in many older areas of Minhang District.

Authorities said the rainwater flooded into more than 4,000 households in the two districts.

Yesterday's rain caused traffic woes and widespread flooding elsewhere in Shanghai and weather experts are forecasting more of the same for the rest of the week.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued an orange rainstorm alert at 3:55pm yesterday. Orange is the second most serious alert of the three-tier warning system.

A yellow alert, the lowest level, was issued about three hours earlier.

The orange alert came as more thunderstorm cloud clusters formed and developed rapidly, forecasters said.

Yesterday up to 5pm, Hengli area in Jiading District had 86 millimeters of rain.

The Pingyang area in Xuhui District had 82 millimeters for the day, which was the most in the downtown area, the bureau said.

From Saturday night, more than 10 streets in five districts and Chongming County amassed large quantities of water that flooded into more than 20 homes, according to the Shanghai Flood Control Headquarters.

Water on the streets proved a nightmare for traffic in many zones. For example, water collected in the Xinzhuang underground passageway in Minhang District, causing a large traffic bottleneck.

Flights disrupted

"Cars were stuck in water in the underground passage and couldn't move for about 10 minutes," said a driver surnamed Hui.

The storms started to affect air traffic at Pudong International Airport about 3pm.

Immigration police said 20-plus outbound flights were delayed and a dozen incoming planes were prevented from landing. Most of the affected flights were between Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Hongqiao International Airport, however, reported no disruptions.

Forecasters attributed the heavy rain to a weak subtropical high combined with a strong cold front from the north.

"This phenomenon has occurred from time to time in the past week," said Fu Yi, a forecaster with the weather bureau.

Normally the city's subtropical high is strong during this period of the year.

This week, rain or thunderstorms will hit every day, and cooler weather will continue, according to the bureau.

The average maximum temperature for the city during the week is expected to be 31 to 32 degrees Celsius.


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