SZ Daily June 11th 2007
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A RAINSTORM in the small hours yesterday flooded more than 20 restaurants on the Sea World square in
Shekou, Shenzhen, causing economic losses worth tens of millions of yuan, the heaviest in the city over the weekend.

At least 66 people have been killed in flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rains in southern part of China and millions have been left homeless, Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.

The highest death toll in the downpours, which began Thursday, was in Guangdong Province, where 14 people were killed and four missing, the report said.

The Nanshan rainstorm between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. turned the Sea World square, which features a 5,000-square-meter bar street, into a lake. From 2 a.m., water and sand and soil from Mt. Nanshan filled the square as deep as four meters in some parts. Rescuers had to travel by boat but nobody was stranded in shops due to the early hour.

More than 20 shops at the square were flooded. Ren Fang, an official with its management company, estimated losses at between 20 million to 25 million yuan (US$2.6 million to US$3.2 million).

“The management company bought insurance for all shops, but few bought extra insurance,” said Ren.

Shenzhen’s water group was pumping water out of the square, but the process was slow due to the sand and soil in the water.

It is estimated that the flood would be cleared by today.

Elsewhere in Shenzhen, residents on Yulongxincun housing estate in Qingshuihe, Luohu District, were evacuated due to a landslide.

Some factory houses near a hill in Lishan Industrial Park in Nanshan were also evacuated.

Some areas of Nantou Checkpoint, the Overseas Chinese Town, Shekou Bay, Yueliang Bay, Dongbin Road and Baishizhou were also flooded.

The hardest-hit areas were the four districts within the special economic zone, Nanshan, Futian, Luohu and Yantian, which all recorded about 130 millimeters of rain yesterday. The city recorded 100 millimeters of rain within three hours between 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. yesterday, the heaviest in 15 years. Shenzhen Reservoir recorded the largest rainfall of about 160 millimeters, according to the observatory.

The city’s disaster-relief office blamed both the heavy rains and the damages caused by urban construction on tunnels for the floods.

Shenzhen International Airport was hit by rainstorms in the early morning and between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., an airport spokesman said. The rains forced six flights arriving in Shenzhen to land in Guangzhou instead.

The heavy rains also delayed 37 departures to cities including Shanghai, Nanchang, Kunming, Nanning, Xi’an, Beijing, Guilin, Chengdu, Jinan and Qingdao.

The airport authority, which launched an emergency program Friday, urged passengers to check flight information by dialing the hotline 9500-0666 before leaving for the airport.

Heavy rains also severely damaged the Shenshan Railway in Meizhou City of Guangdong on Saturday, where 366 millimeters of rain was recorded between 6 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday.

More than 1,100 passengers were stranded and railway authorities had to bring in coaches to ferry passengers to their destinations.

Train N632 from Shenzhen to Shantou in Guangdong Province and K636 from Shenzhen to Fuzhou City in Fujian have been suspended and it is not clear when they will resume.

Lighter showers are expected today and tomorrow, but more rainstorms are again forecast for Wednesday, according to Shenzhen’s weather observatory, which said the recent rainfall was normal for Shenzhen at this time of year.

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