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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 27 January 2021

Ten die in record rains in Beijing

The death toll across China has reached 20.

Residents at Shuanging in Beijing make their way across a flooded road
Residents at Shuanging in Beijing make their way across a flooded road
Image: Boaz Arad via Twitter

TEN PEOPLE HAVE died in Beijing as the worst rain in 61 years pounds the city.

Forecasters have said that more downpours are predicted for the northeast and southwest of China today. The death toll across the country has reached 20, according to the Associated Press.

In Tongzhou district on the capital’s eastern outskirts, two people were killed by collapsed roofs, one person was fatally struck by lightning and a fourth was electrocuted by a fallen power line as he helped neighbors escape.

One man in Beijing died when his car was trapped in deep water near the city centre, the newspaper Beijing News said. Others were killed in traffic accidents as a result of flooding and heavy rains.

Up to 46 centimetres (more than 18 inches) of rain fell in Fangshan district, the most rain to hit the city in a 14-hour period since records began in 1951. It also amounts to about 30cm over the average fall.

Xinhua news agency has said that 30,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the districts of Fanshan, Huairou, Mentougou and Pinggu in Beijing.

Images show cars taking in water, passengers stuck in double-decker buses and residents helping firefighters to pull submerged cars from the roads.

Traffic was disrupted, mobile phone services and internet access cut off and train timetables stalled as the water continued to rise across the city.

At the Beijing airport, 229 domestic and 14 international flights were cancelled and more were delayed, the airport authority announced. The Beijing News said some 80,000 travelers were stranded at the airport as of 11.30pm on Saturday.

On Sunday, clean-up crews were out repairing damage from the downpour under largely sunny skies, while workers scrambled to drain up to one million cubic metres of water from the sewer system.

Elsewhere, in the northern province of Shanxi province, four people died and one remained missing after their pick-up truck was swept into a river as they attempted to cross a bridge.

Landslides in southwestern Sichuan province resulted in six deaths, provincial flood control and drought relief officials told Xinhua.

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