Beijing downpour kills 2, injures 6

Updated: 2012-07-21 20:57


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BEIJING - Heavy rains and strong gales that started around 10 am Saturday have left at least two people dead and six others injured in Beijing, police and medical workers said.

Beijing downpour kills 2, injures 6

A car is half submerged in a flooded road in Beijing on July 21, 2012. [Photo/Asianewsphoto]

Rooftops at a construction site in the city's suburban Tongzhou district were toppled by strong winds, crushing five people, sources with the Beijing Emergency Medical Center said.

Two of the people died on the spot, while the other three were taken to a nearby hospital.

In another village in Tongzhou, strong winds toppled rooftops, leaving three people injured, sources with the medical center said.

The heavy rain has inundated roads and cut off traffic, police said.

A total of 223 flights were cancelled and 193 others delayed for more than one hour as of 6 pm, sources with the Beijing Capital International Airport said.

A stretch of National Highway 109 was cut off by a rain-triggered landslide in the Mentougou district, according to the Beijing flood control and drought relief office.

Beijing weather authorities have issued a warning for heavy rain and potential geological hazards, especially in mountainous areas in the city's suburbs.

The Beijing Meteorological Bureau upgraded its rainfall warning from "blue" to "yellow" at 2 pm, hiking it even higher to "orange" at 6:30 pm.


Heavy rain to continue

China's top meteorological authority said that rainstorms are expected to continue into the night in the Chinese capital after heavy rains started thrashing the city around 10 a.m. Saturday.

Precipitation in most parts of the city is expected to reach 40 to 80 mm. The eastern part of the city is expected to see the heaviest rainfall, with precipitation expected to reach as high as 100 mm, according to the National Meteorological Center (NMC).

Thunder and lightning will occur in some areas, according to the NMC.

The city's meteorological authority also issued an emergency response in the afternoon for the heavy rains, warning residents and flood control authorities to take precautions against heavy rains, flooding and mudslides.

The NMC said the rain will end in most areas of the city by Sunday morning.

Rainstorms also hit most parts of north China Saturday. The NMC warned that Shanxi, Hebei and Shandong provinces, as well as Tianjin municipality in the north, Jilin, Liaoning, and Heilongjiang provinces in the northeast and Sichuan province and Chongqing municipality in the southwest, will also experience heavy rains over the next 24 hours.

Chinese meteorological authorities use a four-tier color-coded weather warning system.

Precipitation in the Fangshan and Mentougou districts exceeded 30 cm as of 6 pm, according to the bureau.