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China Rainfall: Beijing Hit By Deadly Deluge

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The heaviest rainfall to hit China's capital Beijing in 60 years has left 10 people dead and stranded thousands at the main airport.

The deluge struck on Saturday afternoon and continued into the night, flooding major roads, state media said.

Roof collapses, lightning strikes and electrocution from downed power lines were among the causes of the deaths.

More than 500 flights were cancelled at the main airport, the Beijing News reported.

State media said flooding and landslides also killed four people in northern Shanxi province and six in south-western Sichuan province.

State news agency Xinhua said 460mm (18.1 in) fell in the capital's Fangshan district, with the capital as a whole averaging 170mm.

It said 14,500 people, mostly in outlying districts, had to be evacuated.

"There could be further large-scale storms or extreme weather," the Beijing city government's website said.




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Incredible amounts of rain, it certainly puts our recent wet weather into perspective.

Mind you if we had anything like that it would entail a lot of gauge emptying as a standard Met' Office gauge will only cope with about 130mm of rain, even including the inner can.

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I see they are suggesting the drainage infrastructure is inadequate to cope with the city's rapid expansion, which seems plausible.

No doubt things could be improved as almost any rain event can be accommodated if funds are there.

I noticed it looked like there were well defined areas underwater while others seemed dry so I guess they have essentially built on flood plains.

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Anger grows over Beijing storm with death toll expected to rise

The death toll from a freak storm in Beijing that caused £1 billion of damage is expected to rise, with long sections of one of the city's major motorways still under several feet of water.


Two days after parts of Beijing were flooded with as much as 18 inches of rain, sections of the six-lane G4 Jingshi Expressway, China's oldest motorway, resembled a lake. Rescue teams used yellow cranes on Monday to begin fishing out cars from the water, with several dozen vehicles submerged along the road. At one point, where the road runs close to a river, 18 vehicles, including three buses, sat in five feet of water.

"I heard a hundred people could have died here," said one bystander who climbed up an embankment to look down on the scene, before the police shooed away the crowd. So far, Beijing police has confirmed 37 deaths, while 57,000 were evacuated from their homes. The failure of this motorway, as well many others, to cope with the rainfall has sparked anger in the Chinese capital, which has spent billions of pounds on its infrastructure in recent years. "Chinese cities are apparently unpractised in facing disasters such as Saturday's torrential downpour," said the Global Times, a government-run newspaper, in an editorial. "If so much chaos can be triggered in Beijing, the capital of the nation, problems in urban infrastructure of many other places can only be worse."

The authorities in Shanghai confirmed that their drainage system would have fared even worse: only able to absorb less than a quarter of the rainfall that hit Beijing. However, Zhang Junfeng, a senior engineer at the Transport ministry, pointed out that six months of water had fallen in a single day in Beijing. "No drainage system could withstand such rain," he said. The deluge caused more than 31 roads to cave in, and led to more than 10 billion yuan (£1 billion) of damage, said Pan Anjun, deputy chief of the Beijing flood control headquarters, to Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency.

Elsewhere in Fangshan, the outlying region which seems worst hit by the storm, the damage was immense, but few if any casualties occurred, despite widespread rumours to the contrary. At the Shidu scenic area, a broken road meant that up to 10,000 tourists remained stranded. In Hebeizhen, a village in the mountains, an entire street was swept away, after a torrent of water crumbled a factory and four houses.

"The water was coming up to our necks at one point," said Hao Sufeng, whose sister owned the factory. "When the water came, it just burst through the buildings." Another resident said he had rescued one couple who were standing on a closet to escape the deluge, and that the flood had not caused any death. More than nine million people have so far expressed their views on the Chinese internet over the handling of the storm, with many choosing to vent their anger. "Beijing has been defeated by a huge rainstorm, the city's infrastructure has failed, there is nothing here to be proud of," posted one person on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter, under the name Zhulidemixu.

Meanwhile, at least three people died in the neighbouring province of Hebei, 17 people are missing in Shaanxi province, and eight people died in Sichuan province.




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