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Storms disrupt Beijing flights, authorities warn of flash floods

Staff Writer |
Thunderstorms lashed Beijing on Saturday, disrupting hundreds of flights at one of the world's largest airports.

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Authorities warned that rain and wind could cause landslides in the area where a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck this week.

Beijing authorities raised their weather alert level to "orange" from "yellow" early in the afternoon, warning against lightning, hail, wind and as much as 70 mm (3 inches) of rain, threatening flash floods in mountainous areas.

By early afternoon rain subsided in some parts of the capital, but nine roads were still flooded and 171 tourist sites were shut, the official news agency Xinhua said.

At China's busiest airport, almost 500 flights were listed as canceled from 9 a.m. until midnight and 182 were delayed, the website of Beijing Capital International Airport Co Ltd showed, urging travelers to check for flight updates.

Air China Ltd said on its Weibo social media account that about 137 of its flights in and out of the capital had been canceled by 11 a.m. (0300 GMT).

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