As much as 16 inches of rain fell on Beijing this weekend, leaving 37 people dead and causing an estimated RMB10 billion (US$1.6 billion) in damage, Bloomberg reported. More than 56,000 people were evacuated and about 80,000 travelers were left stranded due to delays, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. The downpour, the most severe since the city began keeping records 60 years ago, also exposed the inadequacy of Beijing’s drainage system, despite recent upgrades as part of the country’s 2008 stimulus package. The drainage system, which failed to prevent flooding, was the subject of criticism on China’s microblog services and even in the English-language edition of Global Times, a state-run newspaper. The storm that hit Beijing on July 21 was part of a larger system that displaced more than half a million people and left 95 people dead as it traveled across the country.
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