At least two people have been killed in floods in the Chinese capital, Beijing, following days of relentless rain that left hundreds of people trapped despite an overnight evacuation of tens of thousands from their homes.
Cars were swept away as the rain transformed roads into rivers. Videos posted by state media showed half-submerged vehicles in the Mentougou district pulled along by fast-moving torrents as the remnants of Typhoon Doksuri dumped heavy rainfall on the city of nearly 22 million.
Two bodies were found in a river during an emergency patrol in Mentougou as rescuers pulled hundreds to safety in other parts of the city.
Elsewhere heavy rain continued to soak the city of Tianjin and Hebei province in the wake of Doksuri, which was downgraded to a tropical depression over the weekend.
Three of the five rivers that make up the Hai River Basin rose to dangerous levels on Monday. Some houses were washed into the Yongding River, and nearly 55,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Baoding city, state media reported.
Doksuri was one of the strongest storms to hit China in years, causing widespread flooding over the weekend in the southern province of Fujian, driving hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Average rainfall in Beijing reached 176.9mm (7 inches) between Saturday night and Monday afternoon, with the maximum recorded rainfall in at a weather station in Mentougou hitting 580.9mm (23 inches), according to state media.
The Beijing observatory kept a red alert – the highest warning – for heavy rainfall in place, while the Beijing Hydrology Station upgraded its flood warning with a forecast for more rain and river flooding. Incessant rainfall over the weekend until Monday morning broke daily precipitation records at 14 weather stations in Beijing, Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong provinces.
More than 31,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Beijing, work at more than 4,000 construction sites was halted, nearly 20,000 buildings were inspected for damage, and scenic spots in the city were closed, media reported. Both airports in the capital cancelled more than 200 flights on Monday afternoon, with close to 600 delayed, according to flight tracking app Flight Master.
Railway authorities dispatched workers to send food including instant noodles, eggs and ham, and drinking water to train passengers who were stuck overnight.
As many as 358 roads in Beijing were affected by the rain as of Monday.