Fatal Rains Wreak Havoc on China’s Capital, Amidst Impending Storm
Torrential rains have brought devastation to Beijing, with at least 11 people losing their lives and 13 others still missing. The remnants of the super storm Doksuri have caused relentless flooding for four consecutive days, coinciding with the approach of another typhoon to the eastern coast of China.
As a precautionary measure, over 50,000 residents in Beijing have been evacuated, but the flooding has severely impacted various districts, leading to disruptions in train services and traffic.
The Philippines and Taiwan also experienced the wrath of Doksuri, resulting in a dozen fatalities before it made its way to China.
The emergency management ministry has issued a warning that heavy rains are expected to continue this week, posing a risk of worsening floods in the northern regions around Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei province. In Hebei alone, nine people have already lost their lives.
The unyielding downpour broke daily precipitation records in 14 weather stations across Beijing and the northern provinces.
As of now, there is no official toll of victims or information on missing individuals outside of Beijing. Military helicopters have been deployed to deliver emergency supplies to the stranded residents in the Mentougou district, where around 150,000 households are without running water.
Beijing’s air travel has also been significantly impacted, with nearly 400 flights canceled and hundreds delayed.
Distressing footage from Hebei province shows extensive areas submerged in floods, and some residents in Zhouzhou county are trapped for almost 24 hours, with rescue efforts hampered by the severity of the situation.
On Monday, state television published a clip of the dramatic rescue of a man clinging to an overturned car caught in raging floodwaters in Wu’an City, also in Hebei. The man and his car were pinwheeling down a flooded river before he was lifted to safety by a helicopter.
Like many parts of the world, China has been seeing extreme heat and rain in recent weeks, which some scientists have linked to climate change.
Doksuri made landfall in China’s southeast Fujian province on Friday, triggering landslides and floods before moving north toward the capital. Hundreds of thousands of Fujian residents were evacuated.
Doksuri, which came a week after typhoon Talim, also led to mass closures of schools and workplaces across the province.
China’s Meteorological Bureau said Beijing saw a deluge of about 170.9mm (6.7in) between Saturday night and noon on Monday, the equivalent of the average rainfall for the entire month of July.
There is little relief with typhoon Khanun on the horizon. It is expected to enter the East China Sea on Wednesday before moving to China’s coastal provinces, Zhejiang and Fujian.