China: Freak rain floods Hangzhou

Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province is home to the Qiantang River, which each year plays host to the world's largest tidal bore; large enough that it occasionally washes bore-watchers away when it comes. This year's bore has come and gone, but the biggest water story in Hangzhou this season is the city's largest rain shower in nearly half a century that left hundreds of thousands fleeing their homes and caused millions of RMB in damage when typhoon Krosa bombed through the China's southeast last weekend.

Netease blogger Zhou Jianguang brings some photos from the streets of downtown Hangzhou dated October 8:


Water filled Hangzhou today



I've been in Hangzhou for ten years, and I've never seen a rain as big as this, it's really a historical occurrence; they're saying 90 cm came down in just three ours. I got up at 6:30 and left early to go to work, holding the umbrella was really difficult, and so was walking; the best I could do was keep my head from getting soaked. On the way to work I saw a few comrades riding their electric bikes, with pretty much half the tire underwater. The rain was too heavy, and when I got to the office I didn't feel like going out to get breakfast, so I was hungry all morning. At noon I was lucky enough to get a ride to go get something to eat. It was violent wind and rain the whole day, screaming and howling outside like ghosts and wolves, even the building was rattling, ping-pong, ping-pong. Hubby was lucky; just as he was planning to head out this morning he got a call, got another day off, and only found out later that the road to work was underwater. Heavy rain, the power went off, and bored, he kept calling me at work telling me to hurry home early. The power came back on in the afternoon, and Hangzhou TV kept reporting on Krosa, so I got live updates over the phone, that cars were submerged downtown, that people were using live preservers, rubber rafts, that people were swimming down the street. By the time it came to get off work, I suddenly got a burst of messages from friends on QQ: ‘are you gonna be able to get home okay?’ and they sent me a lot of photos, of cars underwater, streets flooded over, parking garages and schools submerged too. Only then did I realize just how heavy the rain had been. I rushed to make a few phone calls home, telling them to keep safe; our home renovations had to stop halfway-through.

Luckily I got home okay, had dinner, watched TV, and the screen is still full of reports of the fight against typhoon Krosa, a shocking sight:




Mommy! I'm stuck!



Good boy. This car floated to the surface.





Loving in the rain!



This car's lights were actually still on, I wonder if the owner was still driving..



The school gates were flooded too



The government's gone, only the people remain




Hangzhou has a beautiful legend, Tale of the White Snake, where Madame White Snake flood the lands looking for her man; but who was it that flooded Hangzhou today?


Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.