20 March 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia
  •    - China
  •    - Hong Kong
  •    - Japan
  •    - Macau
  •    - North Korea
  •    - South Korea
  •    - Taiwan

  • » 07/23/2012, 00.00


    Beijing residents' wrath at flood in city without sewers

    Heaviest rains in 61 years. 37 victims - drowned, electrocuted by collapsed polls or lightning - and seven missing. Sewer system, which dates from the Ming period, focus of anger. Flooded roads, motorists trapped in their vehicles, collapsed houses, 500 flights canceled, 66 thousand people evacuated. Dozens of deaths in Hebei, Shaanxi, Sichuan.

    Beijing (AsiaNews) - The residents of Beijing reacted with fury after a torrential downpour - the heaviest in 61 years - killed 37 people, with seven others still missing. The comments of people on blogs and those of experts accuse the city government for failing to modernize the sewage system, even though the capital has become a metropolis with 20 million inhabitants.

    By this morning at least 9 million people posted comments on Sina Weibo, the "Facebook" of China, accusing the government of not having given any official warning and lack of maintenance of the sewer system.

    The rain fell uninterruptedly for 16 hours, from July 21, Saturday afternoon until the early hours of the next day. Some areas of the city were under water, which came to about one meter in height; traffic tunnels were flooded, creating traffic problems, several houses collapsed; at the airport 500 flights were canceled, stranding at least 80 thousand passengers. At least 66 thousand people were evacuated from their homes.

    The death toll is severe: 25 people drowned, six died in the collapse of their home, five were killed by electric shock from collapsed light poles, a person was struck dead by lightning.

    Many motorists were trapped in their cars, unable to get out of them because of flooding, emergency crews had to dive into the sea of ​​mud to try to open the manhole covers and drain the water.

    The Beijing-Guangzhou highway, towards the south is still flooded, creating traffic problems.

    Some of the criticism of Beijing residents are unfair: the Met Office warned that in northern China (and Beijing), heavy rains were coming; personnel had been placed at the entrance of the approximately 100 subways that risked flooding. The government attempted to defned itself revealing that at least 4 trillion Yuan has been spent on modernizing the infrastructure of the city. But people wonder how much of that 4 trillion was spent on upgrading the sewer network. Beijing, in fact, is flooded every year when it rains, even when the downpour is less intense.

    According to some experts, the great building boom that is transforming Beijing has completely ignored the issue of sewers for the nearly 20 billion people living in the metropolis. Much of the drainage structure dates back to the Ming period of the sixteenth century!

    It is also a serious problem in other parts of China. The city of Qingdao (Shandong) prides itself on having one of the most "modern" sewer-systems, but they date from the early 1900s, when the city hosted a German concession. And the sewers are the work of German engineers.

    Heavy rains have caused deaths in other parts of China: in Hebei, three people died and one is lost, 17 people are missing in Shaanxi, in Sichuan eight people have drowned due to heavy rains.

    According to initial government data, the torrential rains of recent days have already caused damage to the tune of 10 billion Yuan.



    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    28/07/2016 15:27:00 CHINA
    Heavy rains spare ancient Forbidden City, flood modern skyscrapers (photos)

    Built 600 years ago, the imperial palace has a drainage system that works better than modern ones. Despite weeks of pounding rains across China, hundreds of “water spitting” dragon-shaped drainage points in the Forbidden City release excess water and prevent flooding. Online humour stresses how “modern drainage systems can't even beat the ancient ones that were erected six centuries ago!"

    22/09/2016 08:53:00 INDONESIA
    Floods in West Java: 23 dead and 18 missing

    The toll is still provisional. Torrential rains started two days ago, causing the Cimanuk river to burst its banks and several landslides. Thousands of homes submerged by the waters, people seek refuge on rooftops. The Agency for Environmental Disasters is searching for the missing and working to distribute basic necessities to the displaced. The provincial governor blames excessive deforestation.


    27/07/2010 CHINA
    More torrential rain in southern China. Three Gorges Dam at risk
    Flood waters on the Yagntze River will reach their peak in the next 24 hours. According to experts even stronger rains will hit south-western regions in the coming days. Thousands of soldiers deployed in the flooded areas to bring relief to population.

    09/08/2010 CHINA
    Rescue work difficult for 1300 missing in river of mud in Zhouqu
    Army, police and firefighters mobilised. Unsafe roads make it difficult for machines and excavators to arrive. Wen Jiabao visits the affected area. A lake formed by debris is likely to produce another river of mud.

    13/07/2010 CHINA
    Landslides, floods and rains, more victims in Sichuan and Yunnan
    Six people died in Luzhou; seven in Gauze, three in Yunnan, but there are 50 missing. Work continues to clear the Mian Quan dam (Qinghai) that threatens to overflow. At the risk the Qinghai-Tibet railway and the homes of 205 thousand people.

    Editor's choices

    Syrian Trappist nuns say Western powers and factional media fuel war propaganda

    In a written appeal, the religious systematically take apart the version of the conflict touted by governments, NGOs and international news organizations. In Ghouta east, jihadists attack the capital and use civilians as human shields. The Syrian government and people have a duty to defend themselves from external attacks. The conflict alone has undermined the coexistence between Christians and Muslims in the country.

    Xinjiang, crosses, domes, statues destroyed: the new 'Sinicized' Cultural Revolution

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Crosses removed from the domes and the tympanum of Yining Church as well as external decorations and crosses, and the Way of the Cross within the church. The same happened at the churches of Manas and Hutubi. The Cross represents "a foreign religious infiltration ". Prayer services forbidden even in private houses under the threat of arrests and re-education. Children and young people forbidden to enter churches. Religious revival frightens the Party.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®