Thunderstorms and heavy rain led to hundreds of flight cancellations and delays at airports in Beijing and Tianjin on Wednesday. Beijing Capital International Airport cancelled 226 flights by 4pm and Tianjin Binhai International Airport scrubbed 188, with another 25 due to land in Tianjin redirected to other cities. Rail line blocked, homes collapse as landslides, floods hit area of central China Beijing’s weather bureau said the rain could cause the most serious flooding in the capital since 2012, when 79 people died in storms. The bureau issued its first flood alert of the year Wednesday afternoon as the level of the Tonghui River continued to rise amid heavy downpours. The Beijing airport also issued an alert warning that the heavy rain would continue until 5pm and be followed by showers. The Tianjin Binhai airport warned passengers that the bad weather would continue to affect flights. The high-speed railway service from Beijing to Tianjin was suspended because of the rain. Many passengers remained stranded in Tianjin’s high-speed railway station last night, state-run Xinhua reported. Yangtze River situation ‘very grave’, as torrential rain puts pressure on flood control More than 20 other rail lines from Beijing to southern cities were also affected. Services on Beijing Subway’s Line Four were also partially suspended. The capital upgraded its alert for torrential rain from yellow to orange at 11.30 am yesterday – the second highest on its four-tier alert system. Fangshan district, in Beijing’s southwest suburbs, issued a red alert for flooding, with the rain forecast to continue until Wednesday night. Beijing’s meteorological bureau said the downpours could be heavier than the floods on July 21, 2012, when 79 people died and at least 8,200 homes were destroyed in storms. At a flood control meeting on Tuesday night Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun vowed to “learn the lesson of July 21 flood”. A dozen police officers were seen patrolling underneath the Guangqumen flyover where a 34-year-old man drowned in his car in the floods four years ago. Beijing authorities called off a national league soccer match due to kick off last night and urged residents to reduce outdoor activities and to use public transport. In neighbouring Hebei province, the heavy rain started to wreak havoc on Tuesday, with at least one person killed and another 34 reported missing. Hebei upgraded its torrential rain alert to red yesterday as the authorities monitored river levels. In Henan province, authorities relocated nearly 20,000 people from Anyang county as water levels in a local reservoir continued to rise, the state broadcaster CCTV reported.