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September 12, 2010

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Rain disrupts traffic on ground and in the air

TORRENTIAL rain hit the city around noon yesterday under the influence of Typhoon Meranti, causing problems both on the ground and in the air.

The rain affected flights at the city's two airports.

By 4:30pm yesterday, more than 10,000 travelers taking more than 300 domestic or international flights at Pudong International Airport had been delayed by more than half an hour. But no cancellations were reported.

The airport said heavy rain hit the airport about noon, delaying almost all the flights leaving the airport, while the effect on incoming flights was limited, with fewer than 10 delayed.

More than 40 flights at Hongqiao airport were delayed or canceled.

Rainfall varied across the city with the downtown Xujiahui area recording 4.9 millimeters while in the Xicen area of suburban Qingpu District was more than 143 millimeters, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.

Downtown roads suffered congestion as vehicles slowed because of the rain. Traffic police enforced restrictions on the Nanpu Bridge for a short time.

Elevated roads, including Yan'an Elevated Road and Out Ring Road, reported long queues of slow-moving traffic, and speed restrictions was imposed on some expressways because of the weather conditions.

Minor flooding was reported in Qingpu, but urban areas were unaffected, the Shanghai Flood Control Headquarters said.

The meteorological bureau issued a yellow rainstorm alert, the third highest of the four-scale system, at 9:35am and a yellow thunder alert, the lightest of the three-scale system, at 11:18am. Both alerts were lifted at 4pm.

Because of the rain, the maximum temperature dropped to 30.4 degrees Celsius yesterday. It is expected to be under 30 degrees over the next few days as the rain continues, forecasters said.

Today is forecast to be showery with thunder and the rainfall in parts of the city could be heavy, the meteorological bureau said. Temperatures are forecast to range from 25 to 29 degrees.

The sky is expected to clear on Wednesday and temperatures should be on the rise again, the bureau said.


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