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June 27, 2012

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Streets flooded as rain pours

HEAVY rain in Shanghai yesterday led to cancellations and delays at both airports and several homes and stores were flooded.

A rain belt moving north will continue to affect the city today but conditions should improve tomorrow, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.

Yesterday's rain began early in the morning and increased in intensity just before noon. The bureau issued a yellow alert, the third highest of a four-level system, at 10:48am, and that was updated to orange, the second highest, at 12:27pm with a warning of rainfall of 50 millimeters in three hours. It was the year's first orange alert.

From 8am to 4pm, heavy showers swept most parts of the city, officials said. But while more than 100 millimeters fell in Qingpu District, only 1.5 millimeters was recorded in parts of Jinshan District.

More than 10 streets in Qingpu, Songjiang and Minhang districts in the south of the city were flooded in the afternoon, Shanghai Flood Control Headquarters said.

At least two residential areas and two villages in Qingpu and two houses and four stores in Songjiang were affected, the authority said.

Most of the floodwater had been drained by yesterday evening with more than 1,000 flood control workers dispatched across the city.

More than 40 international and 50 domestic flights were delayed or cancelled at Pudong International Airport as of yesterday afternoon as heavy downpours continued to batter south China. Most flights to south China were delayed for at least half an hour, the airport authority said.

Two flights from Hongqiao to Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou were cancelled because of rainstorms there.

Many flights between Shanghai and Beijing were also delayed because of rain in both cities.

To cope with delays due to bad weather, China's civil aviation authority is to open a temporary extra route between Shanghai and Beijing, the city's airport authority said yesterday.

The new route will be used when flights start to queue up waiting to leave Shanghai or Beijing because of rainstorms, typhoons or cloudy weather. Planes on the temporary route will take 20 minutes longer than the normal one and a half hours.

The forecast for Shanghai today is overcast with showers and temperatures of around 25 degrees Celsius. As the showers ease off tomorrow, temperatures will rise to 28 degrees, the bureau said.

Showers will turn to drizzle by Friday, with highs of 30 degrees, but the weekend should see the downpours return.


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