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15 Dead in Latest Storms to Batter Guangdong, Five Killed in Guangzhou

Posted: 05/26/2014 8:24 am

flooding guangzhou rain disasterThe latest in a series of rainstorms to batter Guangdong this May has killed fifteen people and caused the disappearance of five, reports the Global Times.

A total of 800,000 people throughout Guangdong have been affected by the rain, with a total accumulated precipitation in the City of Shanwei recorded at 628mm.

Sixteen major roadways have been closed due to the rain throughout the province.

In Guangzhou alone, four people have died and one is missing from the flooding on May 23, reports Guangzhou Daily Report. Districts particularly affected by the storm include Zengcheng, Conghua, Baiyun, and Huadu. The estimated loss to the local economy is RMB 700 million; 6,810 houses have collapsed and 206,000 mu of croplands have been destroyed. 220,500 Guangzhou residents have been adversely affected by the storm with some 42,500 people evacuated.

A 21 year-old student of the Nanfang College at Sun Yat-sen University named Pan Jinxiang is one of the reported fatalities. Pan fell into one of the many sinkholes and drowned after the flooding receded. All students were reportedly evacuated on Friday. Classmates say Pan may have drowned near construction performed by a real estate developer.

Other Guangdong urban centers hit by the storm include Zhaoqing and Qingyuan. Storm-ravaged rural areas include some 30 townships. Disaster relief and anti-flooding measures have been initiated by the three levels of local government.

guangzhou rain flooding landslides zengcheng conghuaIn Zengcheng, the 80 year-old Zeng River Bridge (also known as the East Gate Bridge) was destroyed by rising flood waters on May 23 at 7:40pm. Built in 1932, the Zeng River Bridge had been destroyed twice before, and rebuilt three times since. A driver named Zheng Guoqing blocked access to the bridge and tried to warn other people from crossing when he felt it buckling underneath his feet. Minutes later, the center of the bridge collapsed.

The forecast for Guangzhou on Monday is clear skies and warm temperatures with some areas experiencing scattered showers.

The threat of flooding on Monday is focused in northern Guangdong as well as Jiangxi and Hunan Provinces. However, Guangzhou will again be targeted by the storms on Tuesday and Wednesday, mostly in the afternoon, reports Accuweather. Due to the ground already saturated with rainwater, more flash flooding is expected to return.

flooding guangzhou rain disasterflooding guangzhou rain disasterflooding guangzhou rain disasterflooding guangzhou rain disasterflooding guangzhou rain disasterguangzhou rain flooding landslides zengcheng conghuaflooding guangzhou rain disasterflooding guangzhou rain disasterflooding guangzhou rain disasterPhotos: Southern Metropolis Report via Weibo, Guangzhou Daily Report via WeiboGuangzhou Daily via Weibo, Yangcheng Evening Report (via Weibo), Guangzhou PSB via Weibo, Shenzhen Traffic Police via Weibo


China Southern upgrades GZ-Sydney to superjumbo on cheap Canton Route

Posted: 05/6/2013 8:53 am

China Southern Airlines’ (CSA) flagship A380 superjumbo is set to land in Sydney later this October underlining Australia’s importance as a key tourism and trading partner to Beijing.

Starting October 27, flight CZ325/326 will shuttle passengers between Guangzhou and Sydney, boosting the ‘Canton Route’ as the cheapest way to fly between the Australia and Europe.

With 41 per cent more capacity, according to CAPA data, it will increase the number of cheap tickets, especially at the front and top of the plane: there will be 52 more business class seats and four more in first class to fill.

Travelers won’t be able to fly all the way to London on the A380, however. Qantas, Emirates and Singapore Airlines are the only full-service carriers to fly all the way with the superjumbo.

CSA plans to put Boeing’s troubled Dreamliner on its European destinations – Amsterdam, London, Moscow and Paris – as soon as the first of 10 deliveries arrive.

Travelers en-route to Australia and Europe will be able to take advantage of Guangzhou’s soon-to-be implemented 72-hour visa free policy, potentially boosting Guangdong’s image to tourists.

People are packing their bags for Down Under in droves. Some 386,000 passengers flew with CSA in 2012, 56 per cent more than in 2011, according to Xinhua.

China’s biggest airline is proving a popular choice with the best connections to Australia.

The Guangzhou-based airline already flies twice-a-day to Sydney, and 30 return flights a week to Australia from its Baiyun hub, doubling the number of services operated three years-ago.

CSA has ambitious plans to operate 55 weekly return flights to Australia and New Zealand by 2015.

The combined popularity of Asia’s largest airline and the allure of Australia means that all services Down Under are turning a profit.  It’s a rare bright spot, with most international routes deep in the red as a result of aggressive expansion.

Outside of China, the A380 only flies to Los Angeles. Regulatory hold-ups have restricted the majority of the five planes worth US$389 million each to Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The latest earnings by CSA show an 82 per cent slump in first quarter net profit to RMB57 million (US$9.1 million).

Photos by Danny Lee and Noel Jones


Foreign woman downs bottle of tadpoles in attempt to sneak through GZ airport security

Posted: 03/19/2013 7:00 am

A foreign woman was stopped at Guangzhou Airport’s security on March 16 for having a bottle of liquid in her luggage.

As everybody knows (or should know), you can’t pass through security with any liquid. So she was asked to drink the liquid, and did. However, she appeared not to swallow. When the security staff asked her to spit out the liquid, it emerged that she was trying to sneak some tadpoles onto the plane, Southern Metropolis Daily reports.

After being caught at around 9 a.m., the foreign woman explained to staff that the tadpoles were a gift from a Chinese friend and she didn’t want to get rid of them. But in the end she had to.

The airport stressed that passengers are forbidden from taking animals onto a plane without registering them first.

It definitely isn’t the weirdest thing people in Guangzhou have put into their mouths, but at least it wasn’t as obvious as taking a human leg through airport security.


Local aid worker claims Baiyun Airport panhandlers are making big bucks

Posted: 06/7/2012 7:55 am

It’s hard to believe that anyone would take advantage of those looking to help the less fortunate, but according to a recent report in the Nan Fang Daily, there is a growing number of Guangzhou residents doing just that. As some of our readers may have noticed, panhandlers at Baiyun International Airport are an all too common site these days. But as local aid workers have discovered, several of the alleged poor are in fact far from it.

Mr. Pan, a relief worker based in Huadu District, has been working with the homeless most of his life. Yet while most homeless he encounters welcome the offer of shelter, and other resources, the homeless at Baiyun Airport are different: “Generally speaking, our job is to rescue vagrants and beggars, we’re the last line of defense. But the airport is not the same, they do not want our help.” Pan says that panhandling at the airport has become such a profitable enterprise that residents are literally “dressing up” as homeless to earn money. Pan describes cases of well-dressed individuals entering the airport with a suitcase, disappearing into the washroom, and emerging in tattered clothing to panhandle for the day.

With upwards of 200,000 daily passengers commuting through the airport, and thousands of foreign tourists looking to part with their remaining yuan before boarding international flights, most of the airport’s panhandlers are able to earn over 10,000RMB per month, with some earning as much as a million. Quite the opposite of homeless, the majority of airport panhandlers are able to rent apartments in nearby housing complexes, and commute daily by bus or taxi.

One such panhandler, Lang Peikun, better known as “The Blind” (on account of his habit of pretending to be blind to earn more money), has been panhandling at the airport for years. According to Lang, the panhandlers at Baiyun Airport are “generally very experienced”. In fact, Lang has been operating out of the airport for so long, that he now “works” with a network of panhandlers spread across the airport that communicate with mobile phones. If a particular airport gate is busy, the others will move to ensure a profitable day.

Xu Yongjun, manager of airport security is well aware of the problem. However he argues there simply isn’t the manpower to adequately address the issue: “The terminal has 36 gates… these vagrants and beggars are simply impossible to defend against.”

Yongjun and Pan are currently pressuring local government to enact legislation restricting panhandling at the airport. Pan says he wants to ensure aid gets to those who actually need it: “We cannot be arbitrarily too hard, but we have to take flexible measures.” Until then, both men argue they will continue to help as best they can.


Nigerian launches social network serving Africans based in Guangzhou

Posted: 05/22/2012 10:43 am

Guangzhou is one of the most diverse cities in China.  While it has its fair share of Caucasian expatriates, it is also home to the largest black community in Asia and it’s not uncommon (in fact, it’s quite common) to see women in full burkas.

The city has a long history of being open to the outside world, even moreso than either Beijing or Shanghai.  As a city far from China’s political centre, it’s a bit more freewheeling and loose.

The African community here has been estimated at between 100,000 and 200,000, but regardless of the figure their impact on the city has been immense.  We have told you before that airlines from Africa are stepping up direct flights between the continent and Guangzhou, while political and economic ties between the two regions strengthen further. Parts of Baiyun and Yuexiu districts have been renamed as “Chocolate City“. So what are the Africans doing here?  Many are involved in textiles and export products back to their home countries.  But one man has taken a different path.  Spartan Arinze was recently profiled by Public Radio International because he has launched a social networking site aimed at Africans living in China.

Arinze arrived in Guangzhou from Nigeria 10 years ago in search of the Chinese equivalent of the “American dream”.  He launched his social networking site, Gbooza!, after being inspired by reading the Huffington Post.  He says knew he wanted to do something to serve the legions of Africans in Guangzhou, and the many others spread out throughout China:

The site is part social network, part news aggregator and all focused on the Nigerian community in China.

“I cannot create a news website for Americans,” Arinze said. “I am Nigerian so I have to create something for my people. And being in China here, I want to create something that will benefit my people and benefit China. We feature Chinese news and we feature events of Nigerians in China too.

Gbooza is no Facebook yet. The site has about 2,000 members and gets around 5,000 pageviews a day. But Arinze is still dreaming big. His next plan: making the number one social news network in Africa.

Arinze called the decision to launch a social network the “biggest risk of my life”.

While Arinze is based in Guangzhou, the site is much more global in nature.  It features an Events section, a trading corner, and plenty of news related to Africa (with a particular penchant for grizzly crime stories).  News can be filtered by continent.

Arinze says he has big plans for Gbooza!

The site has about 2,000 members and gets around 5000 page views a day. But Arinze is still dreaming big. His next plan: making the number one social news network in Africa.

You can check out the website here.



Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner to serve Guangzhou beginning in August

Posted: 05/22/2012 7:00 am

Last week The Nanfang reported on Ethiopian Airlines sweeping changes making Addis Ababa-Guangzhou a non-stop flight, avoiding Bangkok as part of a wider shake-up of its East Asian offering. From August 16, passengers will now be able to take Ethiopian’s brand-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner all the way to Baiyun Airport seven days a week.

The African carrier has stolen some of the limelight from China Southern Airlines, which was due to receive its first 787 ahead of Ethiopian in July.  So far, though it has made no announcements on its arrival, flight schedule or when fare-paying passengers can make reservations.

Guangzhou’s burgeoning “Little Africa” community concentrated in Yuexiu and Baiyun districts makes Guangzhou a prime destination for African carriers.  Furthermore, the decision for Ethiopian to utilise its new flagship plane on the route means capitalizing on the hundreds of billions of RMB being poured into Africa.

Ethiopian is the first airline to bring the revolutionary Dreamliner to the Pearl River Delta for regular passenger service.

The arrival of the 787 to Guangzhou is a huge coup for airport bosses, but it seen by some as a snub to its bigger, dominant rival the Hong Kong International Airport – which was originally in line to be serviced by the first round of Dreamliners.

But back on October 26 2011, the world’s first Dreamliner flight – an All Nippon Airways special charter – took off from Tokyo and landed in Hong Kong.  Boeing’s latest plane hasn’t been back since.

Source: Airline Route


Proof that sending lewd images online knows no boundaries

Posted: 07/8/2011 12:14 pm

Anyone who pays any attention to the news will know that New York congressmen Anthony Weiner resigned last month after sending lewd photos of his… uh… junk to women over Twitter. But it now seems that tweeting naked pictures of oneself is far more popular than originally thought.

Next up is a sub-district office director from Baiyun District in Guangzhou, Liu Ning. He sent photos of himself sans clothing to his mistress on China microblogging service Sina Weibo, apparently unaware that, well, it’s public.

He’s been busted just as badly as Congressman Weiner, with images of himself circulating on Sina Weibo and in the Guangzhou Daily newspaper.

(On another note, one wonders why a man with his particular physique would find it compelling to share naked photos of himself?)

Shanghaiist notes that, coincidentally, a recent conference in Guangzhou for Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference members outlined how to use Weibo for political discourse:

Caixin Online reports that during the session (which had officials signing up for accounts on the feckless People’s Daily weibo service), attendees ‘laughed lightly’ when Liu was referred to. We’re sure some shifting in seats and looking to the side was also involved on top of that.

You can read more here:


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