Beijing announces nine measures in response to rainstorm linked to Typhoon Doksuri
Published: Jul 30, 2023 12:30 PM Updated: Jul 30, 2023 12:25 PM
Vehicles driving on the morning of July 30, 2023 with rainfall from Typhoon Doksuri setting in across Beijing Photo: IC

Vehicles driving on the morning of July 30, 2023 with rainfall from Typhoon Doksuri setting in across Beijing Photo: IC

Beijing announced nine measures including calling for residents to remain at home on Saturday in response to a rainstorm expected to sweep through the capital from Saturday night to Tuesday. All the scenic spots across the city including the Palace Museum and the Yonghe Lama Temple will be temporarily closed on Sunday and Monday due to safety concerns. 

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) on Saturday issued the highest-level red alert for rainstorms expected to hit the capital on Sunday and Monday. The last red alert for rainstorm that the NMC issued was in 2011. Affected by residual circulation of Typhoon Doksuri, it is expected that Hebei, Beijing and Tianjin will encounter extreme rainfall. Local flood control headquarters in Beijing warned the residents to refrain from any non-essential outdoor activities after issuing a red alert for flooding. 

It is expected that the cumulative rainfall will amount to more than 100 millimeters, covering an area of 220,000 square kilometers, with 130 million people being affected. 

In southern Beijing, central and western parts of North China’s Hebei Province, eastern part of North China’s Shanxi, and northern part of Central China’s Henan, some small- and medium-sized rivers are likely to face the risk of breaching safe water levels. In the southwestern part of Beijing, western Hebei, and eastern Shanxi, which follow the Taihang Mountains, there is a high risk of mountain floods and geological disasters. In certain mountainous areas of Hebei, such as Shijiazhuang, Xingtai, and Baoding, the risk is even higher.

In addition, there is a high risk of urban waterlogging and farmland inundation in Beijing, Tianjin, and the central and southern parts of Hebei, and northern part of Henan.

North China’s Hebei Province upgraded its emergency response to a Level-I major meteorological disaster on Sunday morning as rainstorms over 100 millimeters drench cities including Shijiazhuang, Xingtai and Handan with some locations suffering from rainfalls of over 400 millimeters.

According to the Beijing Meteorological Service, rainstorms in Beijing are expected to last more than 70 hours until Wednesday morning with cumulative rainfall likely reaching between 200 and 300 millimeters across the city and 300 to 400 millimeters in the southwestern part of the city.

The weather forecast shows that most districts in the city including Fangshan, Changping, Haidian, Fengtai, Daxing, Tongzhou, Xicheng, Dongcheng and Chaoyang will be affected by heavy rains from the Saturday night till Tuesday night. 

To cope with rising water levels, the flood control headquarters in Beijing released nine measures including requiring the companies and institutions to allow employees work from home, and suspending all the offline education and outdoor teaching activities of schools and training schools. Local residents at risk due to the rainstorm will be relocated to safe places. While all major tourist attractions, parks and guesthouses will suspend operation. 

According to the Beijing Meteorological Service, average rainfall in Beijing reached 34.2 millimeters between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The NMC predicts that the rainstorm will affect a wide range of areas with a large cumulative downpour to be expected. 

Indoor public facilities such as the National Art Museum of China and the National Library of China also announced that they would be closed to visitors on Sunday and Monday. 

In terms of air transportation, Beijing Capital International Airport had assured the operation of 135 flights as of 8 am on Sunday with its first-level response mechanism, with 37 flights canceled. A total of 1,119 flights carrying 162,600 passengers are expected to arrive at or depart the airport on Sunday. 

Global Times