Downpours affect expressways, flights in China

by IANS |

Beijing, July 8 (IANS) Downpours lasting from Sunday noon to Monday morning have delayed flights and closed expressways in central China's Henan Province.

Rainfall has been heaviest in western and north-central parts of Henan, including its capital city of Zhengzhou, with precipitation reaching as high as 145 mm, reports Xinhua news agency, citing local meteorological authorities.

As of 8 a.m. on Monday, entrances to the Zhengzhou-Shaolin Temple Expressway and Zhengzhou Ring Expressway were closed because of heavy rainfall. A flight from Changchun in northeast China's Jilin Province to Zhengzhou was cancelled, while five other domestic flights were delayed due to the weather.

The provincial Department of Transport has been publicising weather and road information via social media, radio broadcasts, television and roadside electronic screens and has prepared disaster relief materials such as sandbags in advance at places prone to landslides, rock-mud flows and collapse.

Nearly 550 emergency response teams consisting of about 30,000 people were formed. In addition, more than 8,000 vehicles, 283 vessels and 2,711 large rescue equipment items, including cranes, bulldozers and excavating machinery, as well as emergency equipment like water pumps and alternators, have been made available in order to cope with extreme situations such as power failures.

Vast parts of the country have experienced persistent heavy rains since the flood season began. In Dongting Lake, China's second-largest freshwater lake, a breach in the dike since Friday has forced the evacuation of at least 7,000 residents.

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