Beijing, July 20 (IANS) Torrential rains across China have prompted the met department to issue an orange alert, the second-highest of its four-tier weather warning system.
Incessant rains have triggered floods in many provinces of China, claiming hundreds of lives. Shanxi province has been the most affected so far with almost all of its cities being battered by rains.
The downpour affected Beijing too. Heavy rains began to lash the capital from Tuesday, crippling normal life and forcing residents to stay indoors.
Around 200 flights have been postponed or suspended due to heavy rains in Beijing, Chinese media reported. Train services were hit too.
Streets were flooded and people were seen wading through knee-deep water. Traffic was affected and some pictures on social media showed the floodwaters entering subway stations.
A video showed water rip open the roof above an escalator in a subway station. IANS could not confirm the authenticity of the video.
“I hope the authorities in Beijing are well-prepared. The rain has affected normal life in Beijing,” He Guo Yi, a 25-year old college student in Beijing, told IANS.
The met department said torrential rains will hit parts of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, Jilin, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, Henan, Jiangsu, Anhui, Hubei, Hunan and Yunnan from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon, with rainfall of up to 240 millimetres in some places.
The National Meteorological Center also warned of possible floods, landslides and mud and rock flows in the worst affected parts of the country.
Heavy rain across China since June has resulted in heavy casualties, while a powerful tornado along with hailstorms in Yancheng City in China’s Jiangsu Province on June 23 left around 100 dead, state-owned agency Xinhua said.
China has a four-tier colour-coded system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
(Gaurav Sharma is the Beijing-based correspondent of IANS. He can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)