Here's an email we just received:
Being from Hong Kong, storms no longer faze me. But hailstones the size of golf balls? That's a different story. An upscale mall in Kowloon Tong recently had its windows smashed by hail, and certain subway stations were flooded; planes were diverted, containers at our ports were blown sideways... what a way to end a weekend of Rugby Sevens! (Which New Zealand won, by the way.)
That was quite the collective experience, Beijing.
An hour ago, a dam in the sky broke. Rain turned into pellets of ice, the sound of its steady assault only interrupted by thunderclap that set off car alarms. One imagines Qu Yuan sitting somewhere with his feet propped up, enjoying the show.
As quickly as the storm came, it departed -- but not before the sun shone out of a hole while the clouds were wrung dry. Now it is quiet, the singing of birds and rustling leaves beginning to fade amid the resumption of human activity, vehicles, construction.
A freak hailstorm swept through southern China last night, hitting Fujian, Hunan and Guangdong provinces, but the place that got it worst was the city of Dongguan, Guangdong, where preliminary reports say at least eight people have died and 136 injured.
According to SCMP, "maximum wind speeds were recorded at 49.1 metres a second, and the greatest precipitation of rain was recorded at 40.6mm in Dalingshan."