A freak storm hit Beijing over the weekend, causing the heaviest rainfall recorded in the city for 61 years and affecting more than 500 flights at Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), according to the government's Xinhua News Agency. Some 80,000 travellers were reportedly stranded at the airport as of 2330 on Saturday. Among the cancellations were 14 international flights, while 26 others were delayed due to heavy rains, according to the airport.
Under air traffic flow control by BCIA, eight flights between Hong Kong and Beijing were cancelled over the weekend, while 19 departures and 17 arrivals between the two cities were delayed, a spokesperson of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) said. This morning, all flights between Hong Kong and Beijing were unaffected. With gradually resumed services at BCIA, most stranded passengers have departed the airport, according to the HKIA spokesperson.
Meanwhile, tropical cyclone Vicente is bringing heavy rains to Hong Kong, and prompting the hoisting of strong wind signal number 3. According to the predicted track, Vicente will be headed for the coast of western Guangdong. The Hong Kong Observatory said the storm has showed signs of intensification in the past few hours and will skirt within 200km southwest of Hong Kong tonight and tomorrow morning. The Observatory is considering hoisting storm signal number 8 between 5pm and 8pm today, which means most offices and the stock market will be closed.
Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific and Dragonair have both confirmed that their flight operations remain normal so far, but there are possibilities of delays. Passengers are advised to check for flight status updates on the airlines' websites or that of HKIA. The carriers will be tracking the movement of Vicente.
Ferry services between HKIA and some of the Pearl River Delta ports have been suspended until further notice.
Thumbnail image Hong Kong Observatory