China Weather Network issues rainstorm alert for Guangdong province, disrupting flights and trains

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20th April 2024 – (Guangzhou) Guangdong Province in southern China is expected to experience heavy rainfall from Saturday to next Sunday (20th to 21st), according to the China Weather Network. The northern regions, including the Pearl River Delta, are likely to face intense downpours, with some areas at risk of severe rainstorms. On Saturday, Shaoguan and Qingyuan in particular experienced heavy rainfall, causing several rivers to exceed their warning levels. Local authorities warned of possible flash floods in the evening. As a result of the severe weather conditions, Zhuhai Airport canceled 46 inbound flights and 45 outbound flights on Saturday. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport experienced delays of over one hour for more than a hundred flights, prompting the upgrade of its emergency response level to orange. Similarly, Shenzhen Airport activated its emergency response plan for widespread flight delays, raising its response level to yellow. Additionally, over a hundred train services are expected to be suspended.

On Friday (19th), thunderstorms were frequent in Shaoguan, Qingyuan, and the northern parts of the Pearl River Delta. Some areas, including Qingyuan, issued red alerts for heavy rain. The meteorological department in Qingyuan City predicted heavy rain from Thursday night (18th) to Saturday night, with an average rainfall of 144 millimeters across the city. The highest recorded rainfall was 337 millimeters at the Shafeng Village Hydrological Station in Shako Town, Yingde City. The Qingyuan Hydrological Sub-Bureau of the Guangdong Provincial Hydrological Bureau forecasted that the flow rate at the Shijiao Station on the Beijiang River would reach around 12,000 cubic meters per second by 8pm on Saturday, meeting the criteria for a designated flood according to the regulations of the Ministry of Water Resources. This would be the second designated flood on the Beijiang River this year. As of that morning, four major river hydrological stations in Qingyuan reported water levels exceeding the warning level, while three out of 21 small and medium-sized river hydrological stations also exceeded the warning level. One out of the 21 large and medium-sized reservoirs in the area exceeded the flood control limit.

In response to the heavy rainfall and severe convective weather in parts of South China, railway authorities have implemented speed restrictions and suspensions on trains operating on the Jingguang Express Line, the Beijing-Guangzhou High-speed Railway, the Nanguang High-speed Railway, and the Guiguang High-speed Railway. It is estimated that 165 train services will be suspended, and delays of varying degrees are expected at all train stations. On Friday, China Southern Airlines announced that due to thunderstorm conditions, there was a significant backlog of outbound flights, with 26 flights delayed for over an hour in Shenzhen and over 60 flights delayed in Guangzhou.