BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) -- A downpour hit Beijing Thursday afternoon, partially paralyzing road traffic and disrupting subway transportation during the evening rush hour.
Heavy rains pounded most parts of the Chinese capital, and the city received 35 millimeters of precipitation by 5 p.m., according to a statement issued by the Beijing Meteorological Bureau.
"Precipitation in the Shijingshan district reached 165 millimeters by 5:30 p.m.," said Sun Jisong, chief engineer of the bureau.
According to Sun, the heavy downpour may stop around 8 p.m., while light rains are expected to continue into Thursday night and Friday morning.
Waterlogged roads have slowed and even suspended traffic in some downtown areas, said Tian Yin, a spokesman with the city's municipal traffic management bureau.
"The water in a low-lying section of the southern Third Ring Road is knee-deep," said a Beijing resident surnamed Wang.
Wang said she saw a dozen cars suffer from engine failures as a result of the flooded roads, with drivers having to push their cars forward with their bare hands.
A driver surnamed Cao said it took her nearly an hour and a half to reach a destination just a few kilometers away, due to the gridlocked roads.
More than 7,000 traffic policemen are working to ease the gridlock, according to the traffic management bureau.
A Xinhua reporter saw more than 200 people queuing up to wait for taxis near the Changchunjie subway station.
The rain also wreaked havoc on the operation of the city's Line 1, Line 13 and Yizhuang Line subways, according to the Beijing Subway Operation Corporation.
Transportation on parts of Line 1 and Line 13 was temporarily halted, as some of the stations on those lines experienced minor flooding. Transportation was fully resumed on both of the lines by 8 p.m.
Parts of the Yizhuang Line are still closed, as high winds blew off part of a roof in one of the line's stations.
As of 8:30 p.m., over 220 flights into and out of Beijing have been delayed for more than an hour or canceled due to the adverse weather, according to a statement posted on the Beijing Capital International Airport's website.