China / Society

Heavy rains cancelled flights in C, E China

By Wang Qian and Zhang Xiaomin ( Updated: 2012-04-24 20:38

Thunderstorms pounded the central and eastern parts of China on Tuesday, flooding streets, delaying flights and disrupting traffic.

The National Meteorological Center of China Meteorological Administration said the showers are expected to end before Thursday and torrential downpours are likely to hit most parts of southern China over the weekend.

The showers have swamped large swaths of central and eastern China including Beijing, Liaoning, Hebei, Shandong, Hubei, Anhui and Jiangxi. Most of those places issued rainstorm alerts on Tuesday morning.

The rain brought inconveniences to many people who were on their way to work or on business trips.

Liu Wei, a 29-year-old businesswoman whose flight on Tuesday to Dalian, Liaoning province, was delayed because of the storm, said she was frustrated about having to wait at the airport.

"I just don't know if I'll have to wait for another eight hours or what," she said.

By 4 pm, thunderstorms had led to the cancellation of 93 flights at the Beijing Capital International Airport, 54 flight delays and the stranding of thousands of passengers, according to the airport's real-time flight information.

A notice released on the airport's official website on Tuesday said passengers could save time by looking up information about their flights before they arrived at the airport.

In Dalian, a thick mist has shrouded the city since Monday evening. Flights entering and leaving the Zhoushuizi International Airport there began to be canceled since 9 pm on Monday.

Sources from the airport said more than 123 flights had been canceled by 4 pm on Tuesday, stranding about 4,500 passengers.

The airport invited a cheering squad to come there and entertain stranded passengers.

The local weather bureau said it is unclear when the mists will disperse.

Meanwhile, the Nanchang railway department was prepared for the torrential rains by flooding control alerts that were issued along the railway in Jiangxi province.

Emergency workers were dispatched to dangerous places along the railways, local railway authorities said.

No casualties were reported as resulting from the rainstorms on Tuesday.

In the coming 10 days, torrential rains are likely to hit the southern parts of the country, dropping a maximum of 260 millimeters of rain, the National Meteorological Center said.

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