Hundreds of flights delayed or cancelled as storms hit China

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of flights in and out of Beijing were cancelled or delayed on Thursday as thunderstorms wreaked havoc across the Chinese capital, airport authorities said.

Strong downpours, lightning storms and gusting winds hit the city as the local meteorological bureau issued its third storm alert in 24 hours early on Thursday.

Beijing's Capital Airport said the bad weather forced the cancellation of 314 flights and delayed another 489.

Traffic was also affected by the summer storms, with huge jams on Beijing highways as commuters headed back to work after a three-day holiday.

Meanwhile, wide areas of southern China have been hit by torrential rains since Sunday, causing floods and landslides that have killed at least 42 people and left 36 others missing, according to state media reports.

The provinces of Fujian and Sichuan, in China's southeast and southwest respectively, as well as the southern region of Guangxi have been hardest hit, with authorities warning the rain will continue for several days.