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Torrential rains to batter capital region

By Zheng Jinran | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-22 07:39

Beijing and neighboring areas, including Tianjin and Hebei province, are expected to experience heavy rainstorms starting on Thursday.

Incoming storms have already resulted in the cancellation of more than 200 flights in the capital on Wednesday.

Thunderstorms were expected to hit the capital on Wednesday night, with moderate rainfall, reaching a peak on Thursday, with torrential rains sweeping the capital, Tianjin and Hebei, said Guo Jinlan, chief forecaster of the Beijing Meteorological Center.

The heavy rain is expected to last in the region until Saturday, with precipitation reaching 100 to 150 millimeters a day in some regions, which could be good for thirsty soil, she said.

The coming round of torrential rain is mainly the result of a cold front moving in from Mongolia, which could bring strong and steady rain, Sun Jun, chief forecaster at the Central Meteorological Center, said on Wednesday.

Similar heavy rains and gusty winds have caused injuries and traffic chaos in Beijing.

The capital's weather authority has issued a yellow rain alert, the third-highest level in the four-tiered system.

The thunderstorm, gusts and torrential rains for the coming days will affect traffic, especially flights.

As of 6 pm on Wednesday, 280 flights in and out of Beijing Capital International Airport have been canceled, according to the North China Regional Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Based on the weather forecasts, it was estimated that traffic capacity in the airport would be reduced by 30 percent from 4 pm to 11 pm on Wednesday, and only allow 30 arrivals per hour, airport authorities said.

After 11 pm, air traffic capacity will be further reduced, with only 20 arrivals allowed to land per hour, the airport added.

The airport said it is prepared to coordinate the flights and serve tourists.

Parts of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province may encounter torrential rains on Thursday, but "it will not reach the highest alert level as rumors predicted," said Fang Chong, a forecaster at the central weather center. But she reminded the public to take preventive measures, and be alert for rain-triggered floods and landslides.

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