Northern China prepares for Doksuri floods, Beijing residents told to stay indoors

BEIJING, July 30 (Reuters) – Northern China on Sunday braced for potential floods from the Doksuri storm that caused havoc in southern areas, with residents in Beijing warned not to go outside due to expected record rains.

Doksuri, though downgraded from a typhoon earlier in the day, is one of the strongest storms to hit China in years and has forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate in the southern province of Fujian after flooding.

China’s Ministry of Water Resources lifted emergency warnings about the potential for floods to the second-highest level for Beijing, Tianjin and the surrounding Hebei province, adding that several rivers in the region were expected to flood.

More than 20,500 people in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei, have been evacuated due to concern about potential flooding, state media said. Thousands were also evacuated in Beijing on Saturday.

“Authorities should closely monitor the weather, update forecasts for rainfall and water levels, and strengthen consultation, research and information transmission,” the ministry said on its WeChat account.

After pummelling the Philippines and Taiwan, Doksuri hit China on Friday, ripping through Fujian province and coastal areas.

As of Saturday night, it had affected 1.46 million people in Fujian, with more than 363,000 forced to evacuate and over 3.1 billion yuan ($430 million) in direct economic losses caused, state media said.

Social media posts showed emergency workers clearing fallen trees and debris from landslides, as well as people wading in thigh-high flood waters.

Forecasters also warned that Khanun, upgraded to typhoon from tropical storm status on Sunday, was approaching and was set to strike China’s densely populated coast this week.

Hong Kong Airlines announced on Sunday that two flights to Japan’s Okinawa on Monday would be cancelled due to Khanun.

Khanun could inflict further damage to corn and other crops that have already been hit by Doksuri, the Chinese agriculture ministry said on Sunday.

($1 = 7.1488 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Ningwei Qin, Kevin Yao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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