Prolonged heavy rainfall affecting parts of China over the past couple of days caused extreme flooding in several provinces, including Sichuan, Hebei, Shaanxi, Henan, and Shandong. Severe thunderstorms also affected the capital Beijing, bringing the entire city to a standstill. On July 12, authorities have issued an orange alert, the 2nd highest in the country's 4-tier weather warning system.
Parts of eastern China registered as much as 457 mm (18 inches) of rain in a matter of days, turning roads and rivers into raging rapids and causing extreme flooding.
The storms produced what is described as Shandong's worst tornado outbreak in more than a decade on July 11 and 12. At least 10 tornadoes were reported in the province, with at least 3 of them violent.
A major tornado moved directly into downtown Shenxian around 13:00 UTC on July 11, causing 'catastrophic' damage.
The twister debarked hardwood, tossed cars, leveled a number of homes, and left several people injured, according to extreme weather enthusiast Eric Wang.
Wang shared what he described as 'unbelievable footage' ...captured at the time the violent roaring wedge moved directly into downtown Shenxian. "The worst case scenario," Wang said.
Violent tornado have caused catastrophic damage in ShenXian, Shandong Province three hours ago.The tornado moved directly into downtown, hardwood debarked, cars tossed, houses completely leveled....multiple injuries report incoming. pic.twitter.com/DffoHTJPqd— Eric Wang (@Ericwang1101) July 11, 2021
Unbelievable footage captured the violent roaring wedge moved directly into downtown ShenXian, the worst case senario.... https://t.co/QWTCLNS1EZ— Eric Wang (@Ericwang1101) July 11, 2021
Another possible violent tornado flattened entire forests before moving directly into downtown Gaotang shortly after the Shenxian event.
"Seems like a 1.6 km (1 mile) wide rain-wrapped wedge [tornado] moved directly into downtown Gaotang, the worst-case scenario you can imagine," Wang said.
We're now keep seeing and hearing intense damage coming from the affected area, seems like a mile-wide rain-wrapped wedge moved directly into downtown Gaotang, the worst case senario you can imagine. There're countless debarked hardwood trees and forests outside city. https://t.co/CBxXm28vI1 pic.twitter.com/kUBJrkDeBl— Eric Wang (@Ericwang1101) July 12, 2021
July 11 and 12 brought extreme rainstorms to Beijing and neighboring areas, canceling some 700 flights, shutting down schools and tourists sites.
Beijing authorities said the capital is facing the biggest storm of the year and issued a stay-at-home order for the entire city on July 12.
The city received an average of 80.1 mm (3.15 inches) of rainfall and a maximum of 177.6 mm (6.99 inches) from 18:00 LT on July 11 to 12:00 LT on July 12.
A road-blocking landslide hit one of the city’s northern districts, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters has activated the third severest emergency response for flood control.
Other provinces affected by extremely heavy rains include Sichuan, Hebei, Shaanxi, Henan, and Sichuan.
At least 14 rivers are in a state of flood, including tributaries in Sichuan and Shaanxi.
Featured image credit: CGTN (stillshot)