Extreme Weather Springs Up in Multiple Chinese Cities, Flights and Schools Cancelled in Beijing

July 16, 2021 Updated: July 17, 2021

Recently, due to extreme weather occurring in multiple provinces and cities in mainland China, the China Meteorological Administration declared a level four emergency. Torrential rains caused traffic mayhem and school closures in Beijing, residents in Hebei Province held onto trees to keep from getting flushed away, and floods in Sichuan swept away several ships.

Beijing began seeing heavy precipitation from around 11:30 in the evening on July 11, with an average rainfall of more than 2 inches. The rainfall in Fangshan New Village, Fangshan District, Beijing exceeded 4.3 inches. Lightning and thunder were erupting everywhere, in some places constant and intense lightning even lit up the sky. Rainstorms caused severe traffic irregularities, while more than 700 flights were canceled and trains delayed. On July 12, all kindergarten, primary, and secondary schools, as well as outdoor sports activities, were suspended.

The streets of Wuan city in Hebei Province, 310 miles from Beijing, looked like rivers, causing some vehicles to be dragged away by the current.

China’s Central Meteorological Observatory said that the extreme weather affected a vast area, accumulating rainfall, strong turbulence, and a high disaster risk.

The Observatory’s newsletter stated that from July 11 to July 12, heavy rain occurred in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Henan, Shandong, and other places. Among them, in central and southern Hebei, southeastern Shanxi, northern Henan, and northwestern Shandong, there was extraordinarily heavy rain, with 2–8 inches of rainfall, accumulating to between 8.5–13.5 inches in some areas. The heavy rains were accompanied by thunderstorms from level 8 all the way to level 10, and hail poured down in some parts of Hebei.

Prior to this, on July 9, Zibo city in Shandong Province was also hit by hail and heavy rain. Branches and leaves were scattered all over water-soaked roads. Hail that rained down on that day was the size of an egg, according to pictures from netizens who held the hailstone in their hands. The violent storm that day also caused the collapse of two mobile homes at a construction site in Jinan City, trapping more than 40 people who were later evacuated.

On the evening of July 10, heavy rainfall in the Wutai Mountain Scenic Area located in Shanxi Province caused flash floods. One person was found dead while three were injured.

In southern China, Sichuan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Anhui, and other provinces have continued to experience heavy rainfall in recent days causing river water levels in some areas to rise dramatically. Sichuan was hit the hardest. According to preliminary statistics, this round of heavy rain caused more than 120,000 people in Sichuan to be affected to varying degrees.

From 8 a.m. on July 9 to 2 p.m. on July 10, Bazhong city in Sichuan Province was hit by heavy rains. All 210 hydrological observation stations in the city recorded rainfall exceeding 2 inches, of which 122 locations exceeded 4 inches and two others exceeded 8 inches.

Water levels in Tongjiang County from Bazhong district rose rapidly, and yellow muddy water overflowed onto the riverbank. Cars parked on the riverbank resembled small boats floating on the ocean, drifting along with the current as many people were trapped on the roof of their cars. Water torrents stampeded their way down the mountain while huge rocks fell onto the local highway.

video from Sichuan captured boats and ships losing control in floodwaters and plummeting over a waterfall. On the afternoon of July 10, near the Sanjiang Power Station dam in Bazhou District in Bazhong, Sichuan, water levels surpassed the height of the dam and formed a rapid waterfall with a drop of nearly 32 feet. Many boats and ships were dragged over the dam and were instantly swallowed by the huge waves below. Netizens who captured the scene cried out in awe.

A dramatic scene also unfolded in Nanjing, Jiangsu on July 11, when a group of government officials and employees were holding the CCP’s “July 1st Commendation” meeting inside an auditorium. Sudden heavy rain caused the auditorium roof to leak and drench the podium, while audience members rushed to dodge the rain and some raised umbrellas.