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.)
Imagine being trapped in a car stuck in a culvert amid heavy rain. The water level slowly rises, starting from the knees. You call the police. One hour passes. It's at your neck. Two hours. Your mouth. And still, no signs of rescuers...
According to Wikipedia, a waterspout is "an intense columnar vortex (usually appearing as a funnel-shaped cloud) that occurs over a body of water, connected to a cumuliform cloud. In the common form, it is a non-supercell tornado over water." That's awesome.
Torrential rains in Sichuan province have caused flooding in several cities in recent days, leading thousands of militia and reserve troops to be dispatched to the hardest hit areas.
The rains actually began last week, with the worst of it coming down in the last few days. Exact numbers regarding loss of life and property aren't available yet, but the rains have given us two vivid image of the destruction.
Hong Kong is a city unlike any other, its buildings rising up out of the hills like ridged obelisks, its waters rippling with cargo ships, ferries, and buoys, its mountainside painted the shade of roiling green, its alleys stacked upon one another with overpasses and skywalks crisscrossing as in an M.C. Escher illustration.
I'm in Hong Kong at the moment, and to try to capture a bit of the wonder of this place, I made the above video. Hope you enjoy.
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.
It's raining everywhere, and not the good kind, under which one might twirl around a lamppost. In Liuzhou, Guangxi, rains have caused flooding and prompted local blogger Liuzhou Laowai to exclaim, "It’s a holiday. It has to rain!" Here are more pictures of afflicted Guangxi towns via Xinhua.
This happened in Tianjin recently, probably Wednesday. Questions: How did this man get the jet ski into the street? Over shallow water, does the jet ski not get damaged? Why does he have a jet ski? Is he too good for swimming? What happens when the water recedes?