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June 11, 2011

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Shanghai awash as plum rain begins

SHANGHAI yesterday experienced its heaviest rain so far this year with some parts of the city recording more than 80 millimeters of rainfall.

More than 200 flights were delayed at the city's two airports with the sudden onset of bad weather.

Most were able to leave as conditions improved in the afternoon but by 9pm more than 40 flights were still waiting for clearance at Hongqiao International Airport.

Rain started early on the first day of the plum rain season and intensified in the afternoon, with a series of alerts issued by the city's weather and flood-control authorities.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau issued a yellow rain storm alert, third highest of the four-level system, and a yellow lightning alert, lowest of the three-level system, at 3:30pm. Just six minutes later the Shanghai Flood Control Headquarters issued a yellow flood alert, lowest of the three-level system, and the first alert this year.

Heavy rain should continue today with temperatures ranging between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius. Tomorrow should be drier with overcast skies in the afternoon.

Yesterday's rain was heavy enough to flood a carriage on a Metro train on Line 3. At about 4:20pm water poured into the train on the overground section of the line through its air-conditioning system, showering passengers inside. Some jumped from their seats to avoid a soaking. Metro officials said the carriage was taken out of service at about 5:15pm for repairs.

The torrential rain also flooded the Bund's riverside walk area with water pouring down the stairways.

A number of streets in Zhabei, Yangpu, Hongkou, Putuo and Minhang districts were flooded but not so badly as to seriously affect traffic.

Jiading and Zhabei districts recorded more than 50 millimeters of rainfall yesterday while Chongming had 82 millimeters. Jinshan District and part of the Pudong New Area escaped the worst of the rain with only slight falls.

The bad weather alerts were all lifted at 5:50pm.


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