Traffic police said that by 2:30 PM, when the last batch of morning commuters arrived at their offices, 3,165 traffic accidents had occurred and 694 vehicles had broken down. Remarkably, no accident casualties were reported.
"The bus took a long break after moving just three or four meters at a time on the Elevated Yan'an Road,'' said Joan Xu, a student on her way to her internship on Nanjing Road.
Xu waited for 50 minutes in Qingpu District before joining the Shanghai-Qingpu shuttle bus about 10 AM. It was about 2 PM when she finally stepped into the office.
"Not so many are concerned about the traffic any more almost everyone on board is now complaining how hungry they are,'' Xu told Shanghai Daily by phone about 1:30 PM.
Police said the situation was exacerbated as lightning caused many traffic lights to malfunction.
At least 85 flights at Hongqiao and Pudong airports were delayed and passenger ferries to three local islands were canceled.
Hundreds of incoming and departing long-distance buses had been delayed by yesterday afternoon.
The city's high temperature was only 24.6 degrees Celsius yesterday, the lowest of the summer.
Rain may still hit at times today, forecasters said, and the temperature was expected to top 30 degrees.
August 26, 2008)