Travellers stuck as rain continues to batter China
More than 600 flights cancelled at Beijing airport, and high-speed rail service disrupted in other major cities
Heavy rain continued to pummel the mainland on Thursday, disrupting hundreds of flights and train services and leaving tens of thousands of travellers stranded.
The National Meteorological Centre forecast torrential rain for yesterday and today across more than 10 provinces and cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, Sichuan and Hubei provinces. The centre issued a yellow alert for heavy rain – the second-lowest in its four-tier system – for large parts of the country. Beijing and parts of Shandong, Chongqing and Hubei would have up to 140mm of precipitation across 24 hours, it said.
Swathes of southern and central areas have been struggling with floods throughout the past week, with 56 reported dead and another 22 missing.
At Beijing Capital International Airport, 601 flights were cancelled, accounting for about half of its air traffic, according to CCTV.
Meteorologists warned of fresh floods and landslides, The Beijing News reported. Authorities have closed 100 tourist spots and moved out more than 3,400 people. Schools were advised to send pupils home early, Beijing Youth Daily reported.
More than 100 train services on the Beijing to Guangzhou high-speed railway through Hunan province were also suspended. In Hubei, more than 30,000 passengers were stranded at the high-speed railway station in the provincial capital Wuhan after 134 trains were suspended, Thepaper.cn reported.
Pictures released by mainland media showed the Wuhan Railway Station crowded with people lining up for ticket refunds.
The recent downpours have affected more than 11 million people and caused economic losses totalling 25 billion yuan (HK$29 billion) across 11 provinces, according to Xinhua.