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July 31, 2009

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Storms cause travel disruptions

HEAVY rain in Shanghai yesterday caused disruptions for travelers by land, air and water.

Storms that hit about noon delayed both incoming and outbound air traffic at Pudong International Airport, affecting nearly 2,000 passengers.

Up to 49 incoming flights were delayed by yesterday afternoon due to the weather, while 19 outbound planes had takeoffs delayed, Pudong airport immigration police said.

The conditions also forced eight planes, carrying more than 250 passengers from Taiwan Island, Japan and France bound for Pudong to divert to Hongqiao Airport on the west end of the city and Nanjing Airport in neighboring Jiangsu Province, immigration officers said.

The Hongqiao airport, however, reported no rain disruptions.

The pedestrian crossing at Yishan Road Station that links Metro Line 3 and 9 was immersed in water as deep as 30 centimeters at one stage.

Firefighting vehicles were called in to drain the water but no train delays were reported by the Metro authority.

More than 50 ferries to Chongming Island were postponed from 10am to 2:50pm during the heavy rain, the Chongming Island Maritime Department said. More than 20,000 passengers were affected.

In Pudong New Area, one of the worst-hit zones, traffic police received more than 130 calls about traffic jams from 1pm to 2pm yesterday, a 130 percent increase over normal days.

All traffic police officers in the district were sent to the streets.

"Traffic around Pudong's Sanlin area was heavily congested because a lot of construction work is underway there," said Ding Hongqi, an official with Pudong traffic police.

No major traffic accidents were reported, the city's traffic police said.


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