Thursday 22 February 2018

Thousands flee Beijing's 'worst storm in 60 years'

Malcolm Moore in Beijing

THE worst storm in more than 60 years submerged swathes of Beijing over the weekend, killing at least 10 people and forcing 50,000 to evacuate from the mountains around the city.

The storm, which began shortly after midday on Saturday, turned major thoroughfares into rivers as the city's sewer system became overloaded.

By 10pm, almost seven inches of water had fallen, on average, across the vast city. Some areas had as much as 18 inches.

On Beijing's third ring road, a bus was nearly wholly submerged and its passengers had to be rescued by emergency services.

In the outlying district of Fangshan there were reports of several potentially calamitous landslides and more than 100 cars being washed away.

Among the fatalities was a policeman killed by a fallen powerline and a woman whose car was flooded in an underpass on a ring road.

The death toll was expected to rise further, with several more people reported missing. By yesterday morning, however, the rain had given way to clear skies.

At the airport, 500 outbound flights were cancelled, leaving 80,000 passengers stranded without operational trains. (© Daily Telegraph, London).

Irish Independent

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