Beijing Criticized for Ignoring Drainage: Storm Causes 37 Deaths 23 july 2012
On July 21, Beijing experienced
its strongest rainstorm in 61 years.
The city is now full of stagnant water, and many
people and vehicles were trapped by the water.
Official media reported that the rainstorm
has caused 37 deaths, with seven people missing.
Serious issues have been exposed, such as a lack of rescue
response from authorities, and a poor urban drainage system.
Chinese media criticised that the Chinese Communist Party
(CCP) authorities only pay attention to city appearance in urban development,
and ignore the construction of underground drainage
facilities. It is a typical CCP act to “to brush up the outside.”
The average rainfall per hour during the storm was 170 mm.
Over 20 highway bridges are standing in stagnant water.
Traffic is disrupted and a lot of cars were submerged.
525 flights were cancelled, and the subway station at the
airport is closed. Many travelers are stranded at the airport.
Fangshan District has been seriously impacted. There were
floods in the mountain areas, and the flood embankments were damaged.
The river overflowed, and villages
were trapped by flood water.
Official media reported that up until July 23,
37 people had died, and seven are missing.
The rainstorm has caused nearly 100 million yuan
in damages, and nearly 10,000 cars were damaged.
Netizens have doubts over the official data.
One netizen who lives in Fangshan Longbaoyu said that,
“over 200 people died here. The tent areas are empty.
The area has nothing left. A little girl was washed away.
There is no rescue or report on it.”
People are also very unhappy
about the government’s rescue response.
One netizen wrote that some people were drowned
on the fast lane of the Erhuan highway.
This is a disgrace for the government.
Some media revealed that the design
of Beijing’s drainage system is poor.
It can only handle heavy storms,
which happen once every three years.
Issues surrounding the drainage include delayed construction,
outdated facilities, poor management and unsafe operation of underground systems.
Incorrect city planning meant that there was not room
provided for a drainage system upgrade.
Shanghai East Morning newspaper reported that China’s
development has been focusing on above the ground.
The CCP only pays attention to the external (It’s face).
Beijing citizen Hua Po: “Beijing looks nice.
The officials only think about getting promoted.
They pay attention to what people can see.
Under the ground is not visible.”
In comparison with modern Beijing’s disaster,
the ancient North Sea Tuancheng,
located at the northwest corner of the Palace Museum,
has no flood waters at all.
The drainage system was built 600 years ago
during the Ming Dynasty, and still operates well.
Only the surface of the ground is a little wet.
Independent writer Zhu Jianguo from Shenzhen told NTD
that the official statement of “for the people” is actually “for the CCP” and “for the officials.”
Zhu Jianguo: “Their attention towards people
is less than those in the Ming Dynasty.
Beijing in the Ming and Qing Dynasties
had a better system.”
Zhu Jianguo pointed out those officials did not learn their lesson.
They only stopped people’s criticism and monitoring.
Up until now, no official has stepped
out to apologize. This is the real fact.”
Zhu Jianguo: “The officials use Beijing’s storm
as an opportunity to praise themselves.
We can expect that Beijing will
continue to suffer during storms.”
What the authorities have done has caused anger from people.
Some netizens criticized that they only see high rise buildings above.
They do not care about the drainage system.
They only work on projects to brush up its image,
such as the 2008 Olympics, the World Expo, Satellites, etc.
They do not care about people’s lives.
Zhu Jianguo: “The storm in Beijing will not drown Beijing.
But people’s anger will. This is the true disaster.”
During last year’s storm on July 23rd 2011,
the subway system was drowned.
The Beijing airport and the Palace Museum were in water.
Netizens joked: “Come to Beijing to see the sea.”