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Beijing deluge strands tourists

26 July 2012 10:09

Heavy rain in Beijing has stranded thousands of tourists

Heavy rain in Beijing has stranded thousands of tourists

Thousands of passengers have been stranded in Beijing after the Chinese capital was hit by its heaviest rainfall for 60 years.

More than 500 flights have been cancelled at the city's main airport due to the deluge, which began on Saturday afternoon, according to the Beijing News.

The rain carried on into the night, flooding major roads and causing lightning strikes and roof collapses.

The extreme weather, which left 37 people dead, is believed to have cost 10 billion yuan (£960 million), Pan Anjun, deputy chief of Beijing flood control headquarters, told the Xinhua news agency.

Xinhua estimated that 460mm of rain fell in the Fangshan district of Beijing, while the average across the capital was 170mm.

With so many tourists trapped in such tragic circumstances, the incident is a reminder that heading abroad can be a step into the unknown and securing travel insurance can provide some protection.

UK student Tom Smith, who has spent a year living in China, explained to the BBC that the storm felt like "standing under a waterfall".

He said: "All the manholes had vanished because the water was sitting on top of them. It looked very dangerous and very difficult to find where these holes were."