The heaviest rain to hit Beijing in six decades has left killed at least 38 and dozen of cars and buses submerged.

The downpour began around 1 p.m. and continued well into the night, turning the city’s streets into temporary rivers, stranding cars and busses and producing lakes of waist-deep water at major intersections.

More than 500 flights were canceled at the Beijing Capital International Airport, leaving 80,000 people stranded.

However, the subway system was largely unaffected, aside from being swamped with people desperate to get home and unable to use cars, buses or taxis.

A policeman who was electrocuted by a fallen power line during a rescue operation was among the fatalities in Beijing, while others were killed in traffic accidents and roof collapses, Xinhua said.

Authorities say on average 17 centimeters of rain fell around Beijing. But some parts – like Fangshan district – received up to 46 centimeters. The eastern part of the city is expected to see the heaviest rainfall, with precipitation expected to reach as high as 100 mm, according to the National Meteorological Center (NMC).

Forecasters say the rain could continue through Monday.


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