At least 20 people were killed, and 27 were reported missing due to severe rain surrounding Beijing, the capital of China, according to a state media report on Tuesday. Meanwhile, homes have been flooded, roads have been damaged, and vehicles have been stacked up in the city.
Thousands of people were evacuated to shelters in Tianjin and Zhuozhou, two surrounding cities, and schools and other public buildings in suburban Beijing.
The Chinese capital was shocked by the extent of the water. Beijing typically has dry summers, but this year there was a period of extreme heat.
Floods in the southwest of Chongqing claimed the lives of at least 15 people in early July, while 5,590 residents in the far-northwestern province of Liaoning had to be evacuated. Rainstorms in Hubei, a province in central China, have left locals trapped in their homes and cars, Associated Press reported.
In 1998, 4,150 people died in China’s deadliest and most damaging floods in recent memory, most near the Yangtze River.
President Xi Jinping ordered local governments to go “all out” to rescue those trapped and minimize loss of life and property damage.
According to the Ministry of Water Resources, 13 rivers in the Haihe Basin, which encompasses Beijing, Tianjin, and Shijiazhuang, surpassed alert limits.
Over 300 people perished in flooding in the Henan central province of China in 2021. On 20 July of that year, Zhengzhou, the province capital, experienced record rainfall, turning the streets into raging rivers and drowning at least a portion of a subway line.