Floods in Beijing claim 37 lives | News | DW | 22.07.2012
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Floods in Beijing claim 37 lives

The heaviest rain to hit Beijing in more than 60 years has claimed the lives of 37 people, flooding major roads and cancelling 500 flights at Beijing's Capital International Airport. More bad weather is expected.

The worst rainstorm to hit China in six decades started on Saturday and continued well into the night. Beijing got 6.7 inches (170mm) of rain, and one township to the west of the city was hit by 18.1 inches (460mm) of rain.

The Beijing city government said on its microblog that at least 37 people had died in flood-related drownings, house collapses and electrocutions. One victim was reportedly struck by lightning.

Beijing's subway was largely unaffected, so it was quickly filled with people desperate to get home and unable to use other forms of transport.

The government said it was working to get the city back on its feet but warned people to prepare for more bad weather.

"The weather forecasters say that from late July to early September this city is prone to flooding, and there could be further large-scale storms or extreme weather," it said.

tm/ng (AFP, Reuters)