China’s capital region has been battered by the heaviest rains since records began 140 years ago, as flooding left at least 20 people dead and 27 others are missing.
Authorities recorded 744.8mm (29.3 inches) of rainfall, the highest since 1891, between Saturday and Wednesday morning at a reservoir on the outskirts of Beijing, the city’s meteorological service said on Wednesday.
The amount of rainfall recorded in 40 hours was close to the average rainfall for the whole month of July.
Tropical Storm Doksuri has dumped heavy rains in areas in and around the capital while moving northward since hitting the southern Fujian province last week.
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Authorities on Wednesday dispatched thousands of emergency personnel to Zhuozhou, a city about 60km (37 miles) southwest of Beijing, as the remnants of the typhoon continued to batter areas around the capital.
State media said Zhuozhou, which is at the confluence of several rivers, had been hit especially hard as floodwaters had migrated downstream from elsewhere.
Torrential rain around Beijing has killed at least 20 people and left 27 missing, according to state media, while nearly one million people have been evacuated in the capital and neighbouring Hebei province.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered local governments to go “all out” to rescue survivors and minimise loss of life and property damage.
On Wednesday, there appeared to be some respite from flooding in the capital as local authorities lifted a red alert for the public.
Beijing officials lowered the warning level as “water flow in major rivers has gone below the warning mark”, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
China suffered its deadliest floods in modern times in the summer of 1998, when flooding along the banks of the Yangtze River and other waterways in the northeast killed more than 4,000 people and left an estimated 15 million people homeless.
More than 300 people died in 2021 when floods struck the city of Zhengzhou and the surrounding province of Henan.