July 24, 2012: The heaviest rainstorm to hit Beijing in six decades started on Saturday afternoon, July 21, and continued until Sunday morning when blue skies returned. The inundation left at least 37 people dead. Torrents of water streamed into homes and car parks during the deluge. The disaster provoked many to question whether the city infrastructure was equipped to handle flooding.
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In this photo, members of China's paramilitary troop evacuate flood-affected residents in Baisha Township, Jiangjin District, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, on July 23. In Jiangjin District, situated upstream from the city proper of Chongqing along the Yangtze River, more than 40,000 residents have been evacuated. In all, the flood has affected some 300,000 residents within Chongqing's periphery.
Citizens watch the flood peak of the Tuojiang River, a distributary of the Yangtze River, on the Tuojiang Bridge in Luzhou City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, July 23, 2012. Due to continuous rainfall, the highest water level of the Luzhou section of the Yangtze River, China's longest, reached 19.62 meters on Monday, only 0.34 meters lower than the hundred-year flood happening in Luzhou in 1948.
A cyclist rides on a flooded street during heavy rainfall in Beijing, China. On the afternoon of July 21, around 4pm, Beijing received the heaviest torrential rains in six decades as the daytime sky turned black as night. Beijing city's meteorological observatory issued a torrential rainstorm orange warning signal. Due to surface flooding in many sections, some city streets were essentially broken.
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On July 22nd morning, divers found three dead bodies at the Nangangwa section of Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway. In total the rainstorm left 37 people dead according to the official report. Since too much water had been collected at the section, reportedly 6 meters deep at its deepest spot, the authority said they would need 4 days to pump water. Rescuers arrived at the waterlogged area where dozens of vehicles were submerged and piled up, to put on their flippers and oxygen tanks to search underwater for more dead bodies.
Vehicles are trapped in the heavy rain causing a severe traffic jam in Beijing on July 21, 2012.
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Rescue workers clear mud on the Nangangwa section of the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao expressway in Beijing, capital of China, July 24, 2012. Two-way traffic in the flooded Nangangwa part of the expressway had been resumed since Tuesday noon, after a torrential rainstorm hit Beijing on Saturday. The rainstorm, purportedly the worst in 60 years.
A boy carries his rain-soaked baggage as he is evacuated from a flood-surrounded military training site in Fangshan District of Beijing on July 22, 2012. About 350 students and 60 teachers trapped at the training site by rain-triggered flood on Saturday night were transferred to safe areas on Sunday morning.
A firefighter transfers a trapped resident in Zhutuo Township of Yongchuan District, southwest China's Chongqing on July 23, 2012. Flood hit Zhutuo Township on Monday morning. After four hours' rescue, altogether 128 trapped residents had been transferred to safe place.
Trees are seen after the rainstorm at Daxinzhuang Village of Zhangjiawan Township, Tongzhou District, Beijing, July 22, 2012.
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A citizen of Chongqing, China, jumps floodwaters after the storm.
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