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在线翻译:
szdaily -> In depth -> 
Tough questions after rainstorm
    2012-07-24  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

AS China’s flood-ravaged capital dealt with the aftermath of its heaviest rain storm in six decades Monday, questions were raised about whether the city’s push for modernization came at the expense of basic infrastructure such as drainage networks.

Rescuers were still searching buildings that collapsed during Saturday night’s torrential downpour and some roads that were covered in waist-deep water remained closed.

Beijing residents shared photos online of submerged cars stranded on flooded streets, city buses with water up to commuters’ knees and cascades of water rushing down the steps of overpasses.

China Daily reported that 60,000 people had been evacuated from their homes and damages from the storm had reached at least 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion).

Although the worst-hit areas were in mountainous rural areas on the outskirts of the city, the scale of the disaster was a major surprise for Beijing.

The city has seen tens of billions of dollars poured into its modernization, adding iconic venues for the 2008 Olympics, the world’s second-largest airport, new subway lines and dazzling skyscrapers — all while basics like water drainage were apparently neglected.

“If so much chaos can be triggered in Beijing, the capital of the nation, the problems with urban infrastructure in many other places can only be worse,” said an opinion piece in Monday’s Global Times newspaper. “In terms of drainage technology, China is decades behind developed societies.”

There was similar criticism on the popular microblog service, Sina Weibo.

“This is China’s capital. Look what happens when it’s hit by a rainstorm,” wrote Weibo user Wen Hui. “The drainage systems of Rome that were built 2,500 years ago are still in use and you can drive a car through them. Can a dog get through Beijing’s drainage tunnels?”

Some pointed out that Saturday’s deluge was historic in nature, with the Global Times noting it was the heaviest rainstorm in the capital in 61 years.

“In just in one day, it rained as much as it normally rains in six months in Beijing,” said Zhang Junfeng, a senior engineer from the Ministry of Transport who runs weekend tours of Beijing reservoirs and gives lectures on water conservancy. “No drainage system can withstand rains this big.”(SD-Agencies)

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