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October 28, 2016

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Last time it was this wet in Shanghai was in 1875

THE seven-day period from October 20 to Wednesday has been the wettest week in 141 years.

Xujiahui Meteorological Station recorded precipitation more than 194mm during the period, the highest figure since 1875.

Shanghai has had more days of rain this month than for any other year since 2001. Usually the city is bathed in sunshine in October.

Precipitation has totaled 261mm, nearly 4.6 times the average, making this year’s October the fourth most humid since records began.

Forecasters said stronger subtropical high pressure and active tropics had caused the abnormal weather conditions.

Today will be overcast, with the highest temperature being around 20 degrees Celsius. Tomorrow will be cooler, no higher than 17 degrees. Sunday is expected to be dry, but rain will return on Monday, forecasters said.

Meanwhile, schools should close when the city releases a “red alert,” the highest level of its warning system, according to draft regulations covering extreme weather conditions.

Students don’t need to go to school in four kinds of severe weather conditions — typhoons, rainstorms, snowstorms and icy roads.

The draft regulations aim to produce a system that can better prevent the impact of meteorological extremes.

Once enacted, the regulations will allow parents to know in an instant not to send their children to school if a red alert is issued. Currently, they have to wait for schools and educational authorities to state whether schools are to be closed.

Under the draft, employers should ask employees who work outdoors to stop working in order to prevent accidents, and people working indoors should not be punished, such as having their wages deducted, if they arrive late.

During the legislative hearing held yesterday, questions were raised about widening the list of meteorological disasters for an alert and how to reduce the impact to parents of their children not being able to go to school.

According to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, the four weather conditions listed in the draft are of those which mostly affect traffic. Other extreme conditions, such as hail, are rare occurrences, or, like thunder and lightening, are quickly over.

Thirteen people attended the hearing, all of whom agreed with the draft.

“If the draft is passed and taken into effect, it will better safeguard the rights of employees. And enterprises should take the social responsibility,” said Li Bin, a partner of Shanghai Licheng Law Firm.


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