20+ Dead as Beijing Records Heaviest Rainfall in 140 Years

By Billy Jiang, August 4, 2023

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Beijing has recorded its heaviest rainfall since 1891, leaving at least 20 people dead and an unknown number trapped by the severe floods that have hit the city and surrounding area.

The capital saw more than 74 centimeters of rain between Saturday and Wednesday morning, and the ongoing heavy rainfall in northern China shows no signs of abating with the center of the rain belt shifting to the northeast region.

According to the China Meteorological Administration, it is predicted that from 2pm on August 4 to 2pm on August 5, there will be heavy to torrential rains in some areas of the northwestern and southeastern parts of Heilongjiang Province, eastern parts of Jilin Province, and central and eastern parts of Liaoning Province.

These regions will experience short but intense periods of rainfall, accompanied by severe convective weather such as hail, thunderstorms, and strong winds.


Bridge collapsed on the Harbin-Mudanjuang Highway. Image via Yangcheng Evening News

On August 3, a bridge collapse on the Harbin-Mudanjiang Highway in Heilongjiang Province, trapping two vehicles at the scene.

Floods causing damages in the city of Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang Provine. Video via Weibo 郝小脾

Presently, floods have formed in the city of Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang Province, as of the morning of August 4, causing damage to the surrounding areas. 

Meanwhile, water levels in the Heilongjiang's Mayi River continue to rise, and the local government has declared that floods have formed, heralding the start of another round of heavy rainfall and flood battle.

Aftermath in Beijing and Hebei

This round of heavy rainfall in northern China has caused significant destruction in the Fangshan District of Beijing, while the city of Zhuozhou in Hebei Province has also been severely affected.


Image showing vehicle sending people to safety. Image via People’s Daily 人民日报


Image showing group of people trying to knock down the wall to release flood water. Image via Weibo 评城风雨

Currently, the affected areas in Beijing and Hebei are receiving social donations and disaster relief supplies, and post-disaster reconstruction work is underway. 

However, due to high water levels in some regions, it is predicted that the stored water from the heavy rainfall will take about a week to recede.

ThatsBeijing will continue to closely monitor the latest developments in this round of heavy rainfall in northern China. Stay updated by following our WeChat official account, ThatsBeijing, for the latest information.

[Cover image via Weibo 郝小脾]

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