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Drenching rains head across central and northern China

Flood warnings are in place across several provinces before the expected downpours.

Torrential rain lashed northern China’s Hebei province on Wednesday with the worst-hit city, Handan, seeing more than 100 millimetres (four inches) in just a few hours.

Several towns in Quzhour county saw similar heavy amounts of rain, with the local flood control and drought relief headquarters issuing a flood warning.

The local traffic police and urban management bureau also activated their emergency-response plans, dispatching staff to dredge drainage holes to help the rainwater clear the roads.

Heavy rain also battered other cities in Hebei province, including the capital Shijiazhuang and Xingtai.

Hebei Meteorological Services issued a rainstorm alert on Tuesday afternoon, warning residents about the impending storm for Wednesday and Thursday.

This is the heaviest rain to hit the province since the beginning of the flood season, with the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region bracing for the worst.

“Beijing is to receive 40 to 80mm (1.5 to three inches) of precipitation on average during the rainfall, with approximately 50mm (two inches) in urban areas and more than 200mm (eight inches) in parts of the western and northern mountainous areas,” Yu Bo, deputy director of the Beijing Meteorological Observatory, told reporters.

The city’s meteorological authorities and flood control headquarters advised residents to reduce outdoor activities and recommended that construction sites stop operations in Beijing from Wednesday until conditions improved.

The Department of Water Resources of Hebei, along with the meteorological authorities, also issued flash-flood warnings for the coming days.

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