Heavy rains leave dozens dead in Beijing
BEIJING — The heaviest rainfall in six decades caused widespread havoc in the capital over the weekend, killing at least 37 people and forcing the evacuation of 50,000 others from waterlogged neighborhoods and villages, according to the state news media.
More than 6 inches of rain fell overnight Saturday into today collapsing roofs, downing power lines and turning highway underpasses into ponds that engulfed scores of cars and buses. About 80,000 passengers at Beijing Capital International Airport were stranded overnight after fierce thunderstorms forced the cancellation of 500 flights, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.
The sewer system of Beijing, a city poised on the edge of the Gobi Desert, is ill-equipped to handle heavy precipitation; residents in low-lying areas are accustomed to dealing with minor flooding after rainstorms. Officials said the rain, which began at noon and stretched into the early morning, was the heaviest since 1951.
-from New York Times News Service