The Chinese capital's heaviest rainstorm in six decades has killed 37 people, flooded streets and stranded 80,000 people at the main airport. As more than 500 flights were cancelled at Beijing's Capital International Airport

The storm, which started on Saturday afternoon and continued late into the night, flooded major roads and sent torrents of water tumbling down steps into underpasses. The Beijing city government said on its official microblog said 25 people drowned, six people were crushed under collapsed homes, five electrocuted and one struck by lightning..The subway system was largely unaffected by the floods but was swamped with people desperate to get home and unable to use cars, buses or taxis.

Many residents took to China's a microblogging site to post dramatic pictures of the storm. Some complained the city should have been prepared, especially as the government had issued a severe storm warning the day before. But at least one good result came from the storm. The official pollution index, which had showed an unhealthy rating before the storm hit, registered "excellent" on Sunday, with the air noticeably free of its normal acrid smell.

Written and Presented by Ann Salter