Paramilitary policemen searching an area after it was flooded by heavy rains in China's southwestern Chongqing Image Credit: AP

China issued its highest alert for rains for the first time in nearly 12 years, as authorities deployed additional inspectors to supervise flood control work and capital city Beijing halted water transport.

The National Meteorological Center posted a red alert as it forecast heavy rains in multiple provinces mostly in the country's north, according to a statement Saturday afternoon. That's the first time the authorities have used the highest level for rains since September 2011, the NMC said in a social media post.

The Ministry of Emergency Management already raised its emergency response to the second level of their four-tier system for six provincial regions including Beijing, the agency said in a statement earlier Saturday.

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Beijing's southern areas and some parts of Hebei are likely to be hit by "exceptionally heavy rainfalls," it warned, citing the "residual circulation" impact of Typhoon Doksuri, which whiplashed the country's coastal regions on Friday.

"The flood control situation is grim," the ministry said. Four additional teams of inspectors will be sent to key areas and infrastructure facilities to supervise flood control work, it added.

Popular tourist spots in Beijing, including the Summer Palace and the National Botanical Garden, announced temporary closures.

Authorities in the capital ordered the suspension of all construction work involving rivers, and the evacuation of workers, the official Beijing Daily reported. All ships in the city's waterways must halt operations by Sunday, it said.

This round of rainfall could be in "extreme amounts and could possibly break the historical record," Beijing News reported Saturday, citing the chief forecaster of Beijing Meteorological Observatory.

The amount of rain per day that some of Beijing's southwestern areas will receive may exceed 600 millimeters, the newspaper quoted another official at the observatory as saying. That would be far above the government's classification of 250 millimeters for "exceptionally heavy rainfall."

The storm is set to test the city's drainage system. In July 2012, Beijing's heaviest rains in six decades left 79 people dead.

Doksuri made landfall in southeastern Chinese province of Fujian Friday after killing at least 12 people in the Philippines and Taiwan, bringing torrential rains and gales and forcing local authorities to close schools and suspend public transport. It has weakened as of Saturday morning, state broadcaster China National Television reported.

More than 880,000 people in Fujian were affected by the typhoon and 354,000 people were evacuated, with direct economic losses exceeding 420 million yuan ($58.8 million), CCTV said in a separate report.