23 Jul 2012

Dozens killed as flash flooding hits China

3:19 pm on 23 July 2012

Torrential rain and flash flooding has killed 37 people in the Chinese capital Beijing, and more have died in landslides and floods elsewhere in the country.

The heaviest rainfall to hit Beijing in 60 years began on Saturday afternoon and continued into the night, the BBC reports.

Roof collapses, lightning strikes and electrocution from downed power lines were among the causes of the deaths.

Beijing city government's website says 37 people have died, 25 of them from drowning.

The weather bureau says one district in normally dry Beijing received almost half a metre of rain in 14 hours, breaking a record for the capital set in 1951.

As a result, more than 500 flights were cancelled at Beijing's main airport.

Outside the capital, four people died in the northern province of Shanxi when their truck was swept into a river, Xinhua reported.

A further six people were killed by landslides in Sichuan province, in the southwest, the agency said.