Weaker Doksuri drenches north China, Beijing evacuates thousands

Rain soaked northern China on Saturday as Doksuri, one of the strongest storms to hit the country in years, prompted thousands to evacuate in Beijing after pummeling the Philippines and Taiwan, and lashing China's coast.

A broad area encompassing the capital faces medium to high risk of rainstorm disasters over the coming three days, China's national forecaster said. Thunderstorms in the capital were forecast to peak on Saturday.

As the storm rolls inland, cumulative rainfall of 100 mm (4 inches) or more was forecast over 220,000 square km (85,000 square miles), potentially affecting 130 million people.

"Doksuri's intensity continues to weaken but the impact is far from over," the China Meteorological Administration said, warning the public to be vigilant and avoid high-risk areas in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region where localized rainfall could reach 600 mm (two feet).

Over the weekend, small and medium-sized rivers in southern Beijing, central and western areas of Hebei, eastern Shanxi and northern Henan could swell above warning levels, while flash floods and geological hazards could occur around mountainous areas.