“Thunder rolling. Heavy gale blowing. The sky was very dark … I have never seen this in my life,” said 87-year-old Chen Bingzhong, former director of China’s health education center. Chen was born and grew up in Beijing and has lived most of his life there.
“It’s scary and horrible… This is like an alarm from god,” Chen told the Chinese-language Epoch Times. Chen said he believed that the divine launched severe weather on the area to have the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) reflect on its wrongdoings, but did not specify what wrongdoings may have been perpetrated by Beijing authorities.
About 3,000 elegates from across China are in Beijing for this year’s annual session of the country’s rubber-stamp legislature—the National People’s Congress (NPC)—and its advisory body—the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)—to enact policies and agendas. More than 5,000 delegates from around the country typically participate.
The two meetings, dubbed colloquially in Chinese as “Lianghui,” which translates as “two meetings,” have been delayed by more than two months due to the CCP virus pandemic. The session usually runs for 12 days but will be shortened this year and will end on May 28.
Thursday marked the opening session of the CPPCC, and Friday marked the opening session of the NPC.
Around Thursday afternoon when the CPPCC meeting began at 3:00 p.m., the Beijing appeared enveloped by darkness because street lamps were not yet programmed to turn on but the sky had suddenly darkened.
At 3:30 p.m., lightning and thunder struck, followed by heavy rain. The severe weather lasted until after 4:00 p.m., after which daylight returned.
Suburban Beijing experienced less of a dark sky, but still saw heavy rain, as well as hail.
Flooding in Guangzhou
On Friday, when the NPC was holding its opening ceremony in Beijing, southern China’s Guangzhou city suffered flooding.
The rain started in the area late on Thursday, and by Friday morning, rainwater was flooding subway tunnels of Line 13, prompting Guangzhou Metro Company to announce a halt to the line’s service.
Huangpu district and Zengcheng district in Guangzhou on Friday announced the closing of all nursery schools, primary schools, middle schools, and high schools.
Videos that local people shared on social media platforms, the flood reached almost the roof of sedans.
The flood in Huangpu district was severe. The rainwater flooded people’s homes on the first floors as well as cars that parked on streets.
In other districts, the flood on the streets was about 25 inches’ deep in some neighborhoods.
Hail in Shandong & Chongqing
Hail was reported several days prior to “Lianghui” in eastern China’s Shandong province on May 17 and in western China’s Chongqing city on May 18.
Specifically, late on May 17, Yantai, Qingdao, Weifang, and Weihai from Shandong province reported hail in their cities. The hail destroyed farmer’s lands, and the largest hail was reported to be as big as chicken eggs.
A day later, on the afternoon of May 18, Wulong district in Chongqing city reported hail.
Hail happens every year in China. But the size of the hail normally is as big as a peanut. Occasionally, reports said the largest hailstones reached a size as big as quail eggs.