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April 4, 2011

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Rain leads to holiday traffic pile-ups

RAIN didn't deter locals from getting out and about yesterday, the first day of the Qingming Festival holiday, but it did create hazardous driving conditions.

There were dozens of accidents as huge numbers of vehicles clogged up suburban roads, elevated highways, ramps and expressways, authorities said yesterday.

Locals were heading to suburban areas or out-of-town for the Qingming tradition of sweeping the graves of family members.

No deaths or serious injuries were reported, but the wet roads were a factor in many accidents, city police said.

Five vehicles collided about 9:10am on the Middle Ring Road leading to suburban Jiading District.

And in suburban Qingpu District, 17 accidents took place within a 15 minute period between 10:40am and 10:55am, said police.

Vehicle volume reached 428,000 around local highways - a 2.17 percent rise on last Sunday.

Meanwhile, after a damp and chilly start to the Qingming Festival, the city should get a little warmer this week, weather forecasters said yesterday.

Sunny weather should return, with temperatures rising several degrees and the high reaching 16 to 18 degrees Celsius, although lows will still remain chilly, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Today and tomorrow should be cloudy to sunny, with a high of 14 and a low of 5 degrees. Drizzle is expected by midweek.


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