July 23, 2012- The heaviest rains to hit China in over sixty years caused death and destruction in the capital of Beijing. The floods have killed close to forty people with others still missing. Over 50,000 people have been evacuated for neighborhoods and areas that have been saturated with water.
Over six inches of rain hit Beijing between Saturday night and into the day Sunday. Roofs collapsed, power lines fell and underpasses on roadway became small lakes that swallowed up buses and cars attempting to pass through them. Over 80,000 air passengers were stranded at the Beijing International Airport after strong thunderstorms forced airlines to cancel over 500 flights.
The old out-dated sewerage system in the capital is not equipped to handle such rain and many residents experience flooding from just minor rainfalls, let allow the six inches that fell Saturday night. Officials said the heavy rain started Saturday around noon and continued into the early morning hours of Sunday. It was the heaviest rain the capital of Beijing has had since 1951.
Over 18 inches of water was sitting in many areas and caused 350 students at a military school to be trapped. Those who have died in the floods include a police officer who was electrocuted when a power line fell and a man who was hit by lightning.