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Traffic returns to normal in Beijing

Reporter: Wu Haojun 丨 CCTV.com

07-21-2016 10:52 BJT

Around 200 millimeters of rain fell in less than 24 hours in Beijing, causing traffic chaos as many parts of the city’s streets were flooded. 

Photo taken by a cellphone shows vehicles stranded in water at a flooded tunnel outside the Beijing West Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China, July 20, 2016. Beijing

Photo taken by a cellphone shows vehicles stranded in water at a flooded tunnel outside the Beijing West Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China, July 20, 2016. Beijing's meteorological bureau issued an orange alert for rainstorm Wednesday noon. (Xinhua/Liu Guannan)

The Beijing section of the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao expressway is expected to reopen today after closing to traffic in both directions Wednesday. Military personnel carried out repairs on the highway overnight. 

In central districts, most of the flooded roads have now been drained. Strong winds also downed around 700 trees. 

An orange alert, the second highest of China’s four-tier warning system, was issued on Wednesday as heavy rain hit Beijing, disrupting traffic and forcing flight cancellations. Around 70 millimeters of rain fell in central and southern Beijing in just six hours. 

“I’d like to advise our residents to be prepared and minimize outdoor activities. Special preparation efforts are needed for western mountainous areas of Beijing, and south-eastern regions of Beijing,” said Liu Hongwei, chief engineer of Beijing Flood Control Office.  

Local authorities are leaving nothing to chance. The Beijing Flood Control headquarters has initiated a level two emergency response. Back in 2012, the capital saw serious flooding, and 79 people died. This time around, they are pulling out all the stops to ensure safety. 

“This is an important road and also the low point of the area. We’ve been making the rounds in the area every hour to make sure the water gets drained properly,” said an employee of Beijing Drainage Group.

A landslide occurred at a section of the Great Wall in north-western Beijing. No one was injured and emergency response staff were soon at the scene working to contain any further risks. 

Beijing issued a blue alert Tuesday and raised it to yellow Wednesday morning, before raising it again in the early afternoon.

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