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Flights and train services resume in Guangdong

By QIU QUANLIN in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-24 10:11
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Flooding due to heavy rainfall causes traffic disruptions in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on April 23, 2024. CHEN WEN/CHINA NEWS SERVICE

Airline and railway services gradually resumed across Guangdong province on Tuesday following a respite in the weather, but local authorities have ordered measures to prevent further flooding and geological hazards as a new round of heavy rainfall is predicted from Wednesday night.

Before that, there will be intermittent heavy rainfall across the province, local weather authorities said.

Following an improvement in weather conditions, the emergency response for large-scale flight delays at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, one of the busiest airports in China, was lifted on Tuesday afternoon.

By 2 pm Tuesday, 33 flights had been delayed for more than an hour, airport authorities said.

Rail transport, affected by days of rainstorms in northern Guangdong and elsewhere, has been restored since Monday, with all high-speed trains and ordinary speed trains operating normally.

Heavy rainfall, particularly since Friday in the cities of Shaoguan and Qingyuan, had a significant impact on railway lines between Guangzhou, the provincial capital, and Beijing, with 305 trains suspended or turned back, China Railway Guangzhou Group said.

In cooperation with local authorities, the railway group facilitated the transfer of more than 34,000 affected passengers along the Guangzhou-Beijing Railway by operating more high-speed special trains and increasing station stops along the way.

The water levels at 14 reservoirs, mostly in the northern part of Guangdong, began declining on Tuesday, although they still exceeded the warning line, the province's water resources authorities said.

The downpours, which began on April 16, caused widespread damage in Guangdong. Houses collapsed, roads were blocked and landslides occurred in the cities of Guangzhou, Zhaoqing, Shaoguan, Heyuan, Qingyuan, Meizhou and Huizhou.

Local authorities have relocated over 107,400 people, with 25,800 urgently resettled. Power supplies in Shaoguan's Jiangwan township, one of the hardest hit areas, had resumed for over 60 percent of residents by Tuesday.

Rescue workers are also racing against time to search for missing crew members who were washed away after their vessel sank on Monday night in the Xijiang River, one of the tributaries of the Pearl River.

The seagoing vessel, with 11 sailors on board, sank at 11:40 pm on Monday after hitting a protective barrier on a pier at Jiujiang Bridge in Foshan, Guangdong.

Days of continuous rain meant the Xijiang's water level was high and flowing fast when the accident happened, said Zhan Qianshang, director of the maritime affairs authority in Foshan's Nanhai district.

An initial investigation showed the accident occurred due to improper operations by the crew, Zhan said.

Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou contributed to the story.

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