The Hot Zone
China's newly announced air defense identification zone over the East China Sea aims to shore up national security
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Beijing Deluge
Cover Stories Series 2012> Beijing Deluge
UPDATED: July 30, 2012 NO. 31 AUGUST 2, 2012
Rain Havoc
Beijing suffers from the heaviest rain in six decades
By Li Li, Yuan Yuan & Yin Pumin

CAR IN THE WAY: A taxi swept by torrential rains on July 21 is found covered with debris (CFP)

OUT OF THE MUD: The interior of a previously submerged bus is coated with mud (CFP)

MOVING AWAY: A car fords deep waters to find a safer place to park (CFP)

TRAFFIC IN RAIN: Passengers and vehicles are stranded by floodwaters near Guangqumen Bridge on the East Second Ring Road in downtown Beijing on July 21 (CFP)

For more photos please click here

The heaviest rain in six decades struck Beijing on July 21, leaving an average of 170 mm of precipitation across the entire city and 225 mm in the urban center. With an average annual precipitation of only 585 mm, the 16 hours of nearly constant downpour wreaked havoc on Beijing's infrastructure.

The Beijing Flood Control Headquarters said on July 26 that at least 77 people were killed in rain-triggered disasters and accidents throughout the city.

Among them, 66 had been identified, including five people who died while carrying out rescue work, according to Pan Anjun, a spokesman for the headquarters.

Of the other 61 victims—36 men and 25 women—46 drowned and five perished from electric shock. Collapsed buildings took three lives and the death toll from mudslides was two. Traumatic shock, falling objects and lightning killed two, two and one, respectively.

Pan said that a further sharp increase in the death toll was unlikely because the search for missing persons was drawing to an end. "But we will not give up searching just yet," he said.

Most of the bodies were found in suburban districts, including 38 bodies that were recovered in the hardest-hit suburban district of Fangshan.

Official statistics show that about 1.9 million people in 13 of Beijing's 16 districts and counties were affected by the torrential rains, which also incurred 11.64 billion yuan ($1.82 billion) in economic losses. A total of 57,000 residents had been relocated citywide, including 20,990 in Fangshan alone. Hit by two mudslides, road traffic in Fangshan's 12 towns and townships was disrupted and mobile telecommunication services and Internet access were cut off in six townships.

As many downtown streets and major thoroughfares were transformed into miniature canals within minutes, countless motorists had to abandon their broken-down vehicles in rapidly submerging streets to run for their lives. A 34-year-old man drowned in his sport utility vehicle when stranded in a low-lying stretch of the East Second Ring Road. Rescuers eventually pulled the car out of 3 meters of water.

The rains have caused serious damage to roads and bridges in Beijing, including 31 cave-ins. As water rose above 30 cm in at least 30 road sections, 85 bus routes were either adjusted or suspended. After water gushed into 12 subway stations, subway services were also partially interrupted.

Trains traveling on eight lines between Beijing and other cities were suspended as sections of railways were soaked in water. More than 500 flights out of Beijing were canceled or delayed.

As of July 24, auto insurance claims related to the rains, with an estimated value totaling 260 million yuan ($40.75 million), had been filed, as well as asset insurance claims of 270 million yuan ($42.32 million), according to statistics released by the Beijing Municipal Insurance Regulatory Commission on July 26.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Rural Affairs said that agriculture suffered total economic losses of nearly 450 million yuan ($70.47 million) from the rain and ensuing flash floods and 2,867 hectares of vegetable fields were submerged. Claims made by farmers for flooded farmland and lost livestock were estimated at 71.8 million yuan ($11.24 million).

Torrential rains ravaged 22 provincial-level regions in the country since July 20, killing at least 111 and leaving another 47 missing, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on July 24.

As of 2 p.m. on July 24, natural disasters triggered by the downpours had affected nearly 9.2 million people in 353 counties and forced the evacuation of nearly 1.18 million people, the ministry said.

1   2   3   4   Next  

Top Story
-Protecting Ocean Rights
-Partners in Defense
-Fighting HIV+'s Stigma
-HIV: Privacy VS. Protection
-Setting the Tone
Related Stories
-Dealing With the Deluge
-Record Rainfall Hits Beijing
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved