Heavy rains and strong winds battered Beijing today, causing dozens of flight cancellations and delays, and triggering thunderstorm warnings.
The heaviest hit was the suburban Yanqing district, where the torrent fell as much as 310mm per hour, according to the Beijing Meteorological Bureau. Rains of 71mm per hour also hit the capital’s west.
The thunderstorm warning was sent out via mobile phone text message across the capital.
A warning was posted on the Beijing Capital International Airport that the thunderstorm would affect operations until later today. At least 130 flights were cancelled and another 64 were delayed so far.
At least one flight shared by Air China, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair was cancelled this morning. Two afternoon flights – due to depart at 1pm and 5.30pm today from Beijing – were cancelled.
Cathay has not yet confirmed the cancellations on its website.
Some flights solely operated by Dragonair and other carriers, however, departed as scheduled this morning.
Travellers heading to Guangzhou and Shenzhen were also affected, with the flights scheduled before and at 9am all cancelled.
Southern Airlines warned on its official Weibo account that its Shenzhen route was affected. All flights from Shenzhen between 9.30am to 4pm would be delayed, it said.