Thousands of people were evacuated from flood-prone areas as heavy rainfall triggered by Typhoon Doksuri — the fifth typhoon of this year — lashed Beijing and its surrounding regions, including Tianjin and Hebei province, on Sunday.
The deadly storm, which first careened into southern China's Fujian province on Friday and then swept through the country's northeastern belt, prompted high-level emergency responses against potentially hazardous conditions including flooding and landslides.
The National Meteorological Center renewed a red alert for northern China at 6 pm on Sunday. The red alert is the country's highest level of warning for rainstorms. This is the second time a red alert has been issued since the warning mechanism was put in place in 2010.
More than 27,000 people were evacuated from flood-prone areas of Beijing as of Sunday morning, local flood control authorities said.
Heavy rainfall and rainstorms have been forecast since Saturday in Beijing, Tianjin and most cities in Hebei, as well as parts of neighboring Shanxi, Henan and Shandong provinces. Central areas in Hebei, which are close to the mountains, and western parts of Beijing are likely to receive very heavy downpours, the center said.
Zhang Linna, chief forecaster at the Beijing Meteorological Service, said that heavy rainfall in the capital has been mainly triggered by the combined effect of "a low-pressure trough", which developed after Doksuri's intensity weakened, and "the warm, humid air outside the subtropical high".
According to the forecasting service, Beijing will receive heavy downpours till Tuesday night, with its western and southern areas being battered by "extraordinary rainstorms".
The city's flood control headquarters issued a Level-I emergency response for flooding at 7 pm on Saturday and advised nine key measures to avoid incidents.
All scenic spots, parks and forestry farms as well as guesthouses in Beijing were directed to close down, residents were advised to stay indoors and work from home, and schools were ordered to suspend offline classes and outdoor events.
The precipitation in Beijing this time has the potential to break records, local weather authorities said. The intensity of precipitation will decrease from Wednesday, when the city is expected to see light or moderate rainfall.
In Hebei, the province's meteorological service said that several cities, including Shijiazhuang, Langfang and Baoding, are expected to see "extraordinary rainstorms" on Monday, and the accumulated precipitation in some places could top 600 millimeters.
In Fujian, over 1.45 million people were affected by the typhoon and more than 360,000 residents had been evacuated as of Saturday night.