Thanks to the the non-stop rain that triggered flooding throughout Shanghai yesterday, hundreds of flights going in and out of the city’s two airports were affected.
Concerned that turbulence could damage aircrafts and thunder might cause electrical malfunctions, 280 flights were canceled in Hongqiao while another 120 were delayed. Pudong airport also canceled around 200 flights and delayed 150.
Passengers with China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines were given the choice to either change flights or collect a refund, as the airlines canceled over 60 flights in the morning. Scheduled take-offs resumed at around 3:00 p.m.
While Jiading district recorded 244 millimeters of rain yesterday, the heaviest rainfall it has ever experienced, climatologists say this is actually normal during this season.
“Some northern districts suffered more damage during the rainstorm because the rain belt was mainly above the city’s north side,” Man Liping, a chief service officer at the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, said in a Shanghai Daily report.
He added, “It’s not a rare phenomenon. In our weather history, there were some similar heavy storms during the plum rain season.”
Shanghai’s fire department has reportedly dealt with more than 200 calls about flooding as 1,000 households were affected.
Around 80 roads were inundated with water up to 30 centimeters deep and 45 underpasses were flooded. The city’s major roads and highways were heavily congested during rush hour, as the number of weather-related traffic accidents increased dramatically. Local police sent 50 percent more officers on duty to alleviate the blockage.
“Usually the 20 kilometer distance should take around 30 to 40 minutes, but yesterday, it took twice as much time,” a woman who was heading home from Hongqiao Airport, surnamed Liu, told Xinhua, “My right foot has blisters from stepping on the brake for so long”.
The Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau also sent around 20,000 workers to clear garbage and block drains at residential complexes and underpasses. The downpour also affected public transportation.
Parts of Metro Line 7’s track was flooded, affecting stations like Baoshan District, Gucun Park, Qihua Road and Shanghai University. Services resumed at around 1:00 p.m.
Weather forecasts predict that we should be staying dry until Sunday as the rain belt is leaving the city and heading south. But it looks like we’ll be hit with some more rain next week.
Yaaaay plum season.
By Sharon Choi