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Flooding in Beijing area kills 10

50,000 flee to higher ground with 18 in. downpour

BEIJING | July 22, 2012

"Mobile telecommunication, Internet cut off"

— Xinhua news agency

A downpour of 18 inches killed at least 10 people in and around Beijing and sent 50,000 people fleeing to higher ground, Chinese authorities said Sunday.

Weather officials said the drenching rainfall was the heaviest in 61 years, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Among the dead was a police officer electrocuted by a downed power line, the report said.

"Mobile telecommunication services and Internet access were cut off in six townships," officials told Xinhua.

The region's storm sewage system was overwhelmed and cars were seen floating in submerged streets, the report said.

More than 500 flights out of Beijing's international airport were canceled by the rainstorm, stranding at least 80,000 travelers, officials said.

Xinhua said scores of taxi drivers and other citizens volunteered to shuttle the travelers from the airport.

Despite that show of goodwill, the report said police were seen writing parking tickets for nearly submerged cars.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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