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37 killed after record rain pounds Chinese capital

 

At least 37 people were killed and nearly 2 million people affected in the heaviest rains in six decades that lashed the Chinese capital over the weekend, authorities said on Sunday. Among the victims, 25 were drowned, six were killed in house collapses, one by lightening strike and five were electrocuted, according to the Information Office of the municipal government.

 

About 1.9 million people were affected by the downpour which also incurred nearly 10 billion yuan (1.6 billion US

dollars) in economic losses, said Pan Anjun, deputy chief of the Beijing flood control headquarters.

 

As of 6 pm (local time) on Sunday about 66,000 residents have been relocated, including 20,990 in suburban district of Fangshan alone, Pan said.

 

The rains have caused multiple damages to roads and bridges, including 31 road cave-ins. More than 1,200 houses or

buildings have seen leakages and 736 houses were flooded, Anjun said.

 

The average precipitation reached 170 mm in Beijing as a whole while that of the urban area hit 225 mm in the 16 hours of heavy rains, Anjun said.

 

In Fangshan, the maximum precipitation, 460 mm, was recorded in Hebei Township. Road traffic in 12 townships was

disrupted. Mobile telecommunication services and Internet access were cut off in six townships, the headquarters said.

 

The downpours submerged some power supply facilities and led to blackouts in parts of the city. Train services between Beijing and Guangzhou were suspended as the railway line section at Nangangwa, Fengtai district, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

 

A flash flood in Fangshan stranded 104 primary school students and nine teachers at a military training site, Xinhua

said. It said they were in no immediate danger and that rescuers had taken food to them.

 

More than 12,000 people worked for draining 1 million cubic meters of water from streets. Most puddles in the city

were cleared by Sunday morning.

07/23/2012



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