Tens of thousands evacuated as northern China hit by torrential rain

Beijing   -   Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from high-risk areas of Beijing and another northern city as much of China was lashed by torrential rain on Sunday. Deadly storm Doksuri has been sweeping northwards over China since Friday, when it careened into southern Fujian province after battering the Philippines as a typhoon. The Chinese capital and surrounding region were drenched over the weekend, with officials warning of potentially hazardous conditions including floods, swelling rivers, mudslides and landslides. More than 27,000 people in high-risk areas of Beijing have been evacuated, and another 20,000 were relocated from parts of neighbouring province Hebei’s capital Shijiazhuang, state media said. Hundreds of millions of people in northern China, including in Beijing, remain under a red alert — the highest level — for heavy rain through at least Monday afternoon. The alert covers Beijing’s 22 million people and Tianjin’s 14 million, as well as parts of Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong and Henan provinces. It is the first time since 2011 that such a heavy rainfall warning has been issued, according to local media. Chinese authorities have been cautious about heavy downpours since severe flooding in 2021 killed more than 300 people in central China, mainly in the city of Zhengzhou. In Beijing, residents were urged on Sunday not to go outside unless necessary, advice that appeared widely heeded with the usually buzzing streets empty of many cars or pedestrians. Companies were also told not to force their employees to come to work unless necessary. Many popular sites in the capital were temporarily closed, including the Forbidden City, libraries and museums. The sprawling National Centre for the Performing Arts, located near Tiananmen Square, cancelled opera and musical performances scheduled for Sunday.

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