July 23rd, 2012 | China Daily After the flood
The heaviest rainstorm in 61 years on Saturday was a big test for Beijing. Almost the entire city was flooded and 10 people died.
However, thanks to the joint efforts of police officers, firefighters and ordinary residents, all those who were stranded by floods have now been rescued.
More than 7,000 police officers and more than 5,000 firefighters rushed out to all corners of the city to help residents in difficulty. At almost every hazardous location, police officers were on hand to guide the evacuation of residents to safer places.
Many moving stories have emerged. A stranger drove a mother and her daughter home when the two were caught in the rain. When a manhole cover was thrown open by the sheer volume of water, a boy from a nearby restaurant stood by it for hours informing passers-by of the danger. A crowd of people rushed to help the police to drag the driver out of a car that was submerged under water.
The casualties would have been higher had it not been for people pulling together to help those in difficulty.
However, had the municipal government sent text messages in advance about the possible danger the rainstorm might pose, the number of people and vehicles that were caught and even stranded in the rain would have been greatly reduced.
Had the city’s drainage system been better designed and constructed to cope with heavy rains, particularly under overpasses, there would not have been such a large number of roads flooded. Even Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong admitted when interviewed on television that the city’s drainage system was not good enough.
Of course, it may be asking too much for the city’s drainage system to cope with the heaviest rainstorm in over half a century. But the fact is that the roads under most overpasses, that are much lower than the average road level, are flooded whenever there is a rainstorm.
This heaviest rainstorm in 61 years demonstrated how courageous and responsible our police officers and firefighters are in performing their duties and how altruistic some residents are in their willingness to come to the aid of others in need.
But it has also laid bare the weakness of the city’s drainage system, which needs to be improved or even rebuilt.