BEIJING (BNO NEWS) -- Torrential rains in the Chinese capital of Beijing have killed at least 37 people and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate, local authorities reported on late Sunday evening. It was the worst rainfall in the region in more than six decades.
Over 460 millimeters (18.1 inches) of rain was recorded in the southwestern district of Fangshan over the course of the storm, which began on early Saturday morning and lasted more than 20 hours. The average rainfall in the rest of Beijing was 170 millimeters (6.7 inches), which according to records, was the highest since 1951.
The municipal government said on late Sunday that at least 37 people were killed during the storm, including 25 people who drowned, one person who was hit by a lightening strike, six people who died when buildings collapsed, and five people who were electrocuted. Twenty-two of the bodies have already been identified, although their identities were not immediately released.
The rainstorm, which forced some 66,000 people to evacuate, has caused at least 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in damage, according to a preliminary assessment. Beijing officials reported multiple roads and bridges were damaged or destroyed, more than 1,200 houses experienced water damage, and 736 houses were flooded.
Several parts of Beijing were also experiencing blackouts and interruption to internet and mobile phone services.
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