Storms disrupt Beijing flights, authorities warn of flash flooding, landslides

Vehicles are trapped on a flooded street during a heavy rainfall in Beijing July 20, 2016. (File pgoto by Reuters)
Updated 12 August 2017
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Storms disrupt Beijing flights, authorities warn of flash flooding, landslides

BEIJING: Thunderstorms lashed Beijing on Saturday, disrupting hundreds of flights at one of the world’s largest airports, while authorities warned that rain and wind could cause landslides in the area where a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck this week.
Beijing city authorities raised their weather alert level early on Saturday afternoon to “orange” from “yellow,” warning that lightning, hail, wind and as much as 70 mm of rain would hit the city, potentially causing flash floods in mountainous areas.
Beijing Capital International Airport Co. Ltd. <0694.HK urged travelers, in a statement on its website, to check for updates on their flights into and out of the city.
Almost 500 flights were listed as canceled from 9 a.m. until midnight and 182 were delayed at China’s busiest airport, the website showed.
Air China Ltd. said on its Weibo social media account that some 137 of its flights in and out of the capital had been canceled as of 11 a.m. (0300 GMT).
Torrential rain storms are fairly frequent in Beijing in the summer months, often causing long delays at the airport.
Other airports affected by the downpours included Shanghai, Nanjing in Jiangsu province, Hangzhou in Zhejiang along the Yangtze River delta.
The others were in northern regions: Shijiazhuang in Hebei, Taiyuan in Shanxi, Lanzhou in Gansu, Xining in Qinghai and Yinchuan in Ningxia.
In a statement, China’s National Meteorological Center cautioned rescue crews working in Jiuzhaigou, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, to be on alert for landslides and lightning.
Heavy rain was expected across south-eastern China on Saturday, it said.
The extreme weather came after a tornado struck Inner Mongolia on Friday, killing five people, injuring more than 50 and destroying homes in a major city.


Indian doctors strike over violence from patients and families

Updated 12 min 26 sec ago
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Indian doctors strike over violence from patients and families

  • The strike is in solidarity with doctors in the eastern state of West Bengal after three were viciously attacked by the relatives of a man who died
  • The strike in West Bengal has crippled medical services for the state’s 90 million people

NEW DELHI: Tens of thousands of Indian doctors went on strike Monday calling for more protection against violence by patients and their families, as parliament met for the first time since national elections.
The nationwide strike, which will last until Tuesday morning, is in solidarity with doctors in the eastern state of West Bengal after three were viciously attacked by the relatives of a man who died.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA), representing 350,000 of India’s 900,000 doctors, called for tougher punishments for those assaulting medical staff.
Blaming the attacks in part on “high expectations” by patients, poor infrastructure and inadequate staffing, the IMA said hospitals should have more security cameras and that the entry of visitors to hospitals should be restricted.
The strike, which does not include emergency services, takes place as parliament convened for the first time since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was re-elected in a landslide last month.
Doctors in West Bengal’s capital Kolkata have been on strike since last Monday, when a family assaulted three doctors after a relative died during treatment at a state-run hospital.
The family, who blamed the death on negligence by the doctors, lashed out violently and left two of the medical staff critically injured.
The strike in West Bengal, which has also been wracked by weeks of political violence with almost 20 people killed, has crippled medical services for the state’s 90 million people.
On Monday doctors in the state were due to discuss the strike with Mamata Banerjee, the state premier and fierce Modi opponent.
India spends less than two percent of its GDP on health care, making it one of the lowest investors in the sector globally, with the World Health Organization placing it below both Iraq and Venezuela.
However, Modicare — a quietly successful part of Modi’s surprising re-election — is a huge public health initiative set to benefit the poorest.