Millions hit as rainstorm wreaks havoc in Shanghai

Millions hit as rainstorm wreaks havoc in Shanghai
A flooded road causes problems for pedestrians in Shanghai on Tuesday. Typhoon Fitow brought heavy rain to the city, flooding more than 50 roads.

Millions of residents were affected as a rainstorm hit a large swathe of eastern China on Tuesday, flooding downtown areas and snarling traffic.

The storm, triggered under the influence of Typhoon Fitow, continued to strike Shanghai and Zhejiang province, forcing both to raise the rainstorm alarm to the highest level of red on Tuesday morning.

In the 12 hours up to 11 am on Tuesday Shanghai reported average rainfall of more than 100 millimeters, while on the outskirts of the city 200 mm fell.

Zhang Ruiyi, a chief service officer at the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, said the storm was caused by the remaining depression from Fitow encountering cold air.

The continuous rain, the rising tide and discharge of floodwater from upstream Taihu Lake caused the Huangpu River, which runs through Shanghai, to rise past the warning line on Tuesday.

According to the city's flood control headquarters, the river burst its flood control wall in suburban sections. No deaths were reported in the region.

In Zhejiang, Yuyao, a city with a population of about 850,000, was one of the hardest hit. More than 70 per cent of the city's downtown area was flooded, forcing public transportation to be suspended.

The city's power and tap water supplies were also interrupted, and residents are short of food and clean water. Soldiers rushed in large trucks and speedboats to help with disaster response.

But relief for residents in the region is on the way, with forecasters in Shanghai predicting cloudy weather on Wednesday and clear skies from Thursday.

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