Recent heavy rains in Beijing, the most significant in 140 years, resulted in deadly floods and thousands evacuated. China braces for the approaching Typhoon Khanun after being hit by Storm Doksuri. Southern Japan also faces disruptions and evacuations due to the typhoon’s powerful winds and rain.

Deadly rains that pummelled China’s capital recently were the heaviest since records began 140 years ago, Beijing’s weather service said on Wednesday, as a massive clean-up operation began.

Recently, millions of people have been hit by extreme weather events and prolonged heat waves around the globe, events that scientists say are being exacerbated by climate change.

And the Beijing Meteorological Service said the capital had just experienced the “heaviest rainfall in 140 years” when city authorities started keeping records.

People walk past a damaged car following heavy rains in Fangshan district in Beijing on August 1st, 2023. (Photo by Pedro PARDO / AFP)

At least 11 people have died in the rain in Beijing, state broadcaster CCTV said Tuesday, with more than a dozen missing.

The epicenter of flooding shifted to neighboring Hebei province on Wednesday.

Storm Doksuri, a former super typhoon, swept northwards over China after hitting the southern Fujian province last week following its battering of the Philippines.

State media warned last week that 130 million people would be affected by the extremely heavy rainfall across northern China.

Swathes of suburban Beijing and the surrounding areas have been inundated, with state media reporting 974,400 people have been evacuated in the capital and neighboring Hebei province.

View of the Yongding River overflow next to the Winter Olympic Ski Jump in Shijingshan, Beijing on August 1st, 2023. (Photo by Pedro PARDO / AFP)

And to the west, 42,211 people have been evacuated in Shanxi province.

The country is now on alert for the arrival of Typhoon Khanun, the sixth storm of the year, as it nears China’s east coast.

Hundreds of flights to Okinawa and other islands were canceled, stranding thousands of tourists holidaying in the region’s tropical beach resorts.

Typhoon Khanun, described as “very strong” by the Japanese weather agency, brought maximum sustained wind speeds of 180 kilometers (112 miles) an hour.

According to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, an evacuation warning issued across Okinawa and the southern part of the Kagoshima region was in place, urging more than 690,000 residents to move to safety.

Miroslava Salazar with AFP