Over the last three days, Beijing has received the greatest rainfall in at least 140 years, causing landslides and flooding in and around the Chinese city.
At least 20 people were killed and 27 others were missing in Beijing and its surrounding districts, according to state broadcaster CCTV, as heavy rains swollen rivers and flooding caused by furious torrents washed into people’s houses and tore down streets.
The devastating floods occurred as Beijing received 29.3 inches of rain between Saturday and Wednesday morning, according to the Beijing Meteorological Bureau, making it the “heaviest rainfall in 140 years.”
The previous record for the heaviest rain was set in 1891, according to the Beijing Meteorological Bureau, when the city received 24 inches of rain. Machines made the first precise measurements in 1883.
Aside from Beijing, the neighbouring province of Hebei has also seen significant flooding as a result of record rains, with water levels reaching dangerous levels.
The rain washed out roads, electrical lines, and even drinking water pipes. It inundated the waterways surrounding the capital, submerging cars and forcing others onto pedestrian bridges.
Zhuozhou, a small city in Hebei that borders Beijing’s southwest, is one of the hardest damaged districts.