Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in Beijing as the remnants of Typhoon Doksuri dumped record rainfall on the city, grounding flights and flooding hundreds of roads on Monday.
Besides Beijing, heavy rain continued to soak the neighbouring city of Tianjin as well as Hebei province in a region nearly the size of Britain in the wake of Doksuri, which was downgraded to a tropical depression on 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, state media reported.
Doksuri is one of the strongest storms to hit China in years and caused 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 140.7 mm (5.5 inches) overnight Sunday, with the maximum recorded rainfall in Fangshan area hitting 500.4 mm (19.7 inches), according to the city’s observatory.
The observatory kept a red alert – the highest warning – for heavy rainfall in place while Beijing Hydrology Station upgraded its flood warning with more rain and river flooding forecast.
More than 31,000 people were evacuated from their homes, work at more than 4,000 construction sites was halted, almost 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 180 flights on Monday morning, with hundreds more 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.
There was no reported damage or casualties, state media said, but south of Beijing, Doksuri’s impact was more pronounced.
In northern Hebei province, a driver was missing after two trucks fell off a collapsed bridge in Baoding city on Sunday, while a section of a railway bridge for freight in Shijiazhuang city was washed away in a swollen river, media reported.
While Doksuri continues to taper off, forecasters warned that typhoon Khanun was approaching and was set to strike China’s densely populated coast this week.
Authorities said Khanun could inflict further damage to corn and other crops that have already been hit by Doksuri.