Qiantang River Tidal Waves Crashes Over Dike, Wash Away Tourists

People are struggling in the tide.

People are struggling in the tide.

From Youku:

Qiantang River Tidal Wave Destroys Guardrails, Nearly 30 Tourists Injured

Influenced by typhoon “Trami”, a rare 20-meter-high huge wave appeared again at QianTang River Haining Laoyancang tidal bore watching dike today [August 22]. However, danger happened again during the thrilling spectacle as the fierce back-flow bore destroyed the tidal wall, causing injuries of varying degrees to nearly 30 tourists on the scene. This is the scene filmed by a Haining Channel reporter at the optimal tidal bore watching spot in Laoyancang at 1pm this afternoon [August 22]. From the video, we can see a tidal wave crossing the seawall from west to east and hurling towards the spectators, flapping along the dam. The billowy tide even went over the top of the wire fencing, upsetting the 20-meter-high wave wall as well as the wire fencing behind it. The distance between the shooting position and the site was less than 10 meters. Fortunately, the reporter escaped unhurt.

From China Daily:

Zhejiang Haining: Qiantang River 6.6-meter “Back-flow Bore” Sweeps Yancang Area, Knocking Over Hundreds of Tourists

People are struggling in the tide.

2013 August 22th, in Zhejiang Haining, influenced by typhoon “Trami”, tides in Qiantang River were much higher than usual and attracted many wave-watchers. At 12:40pm, a billowy back-flow bore appeared in the Yancang area, with a 6.6-meter high tide level and 1.3-meter high surge. This unexpectedly huge wave hurt a lot of spectators. Picture is of spectators being washed into the trees.

Spectatorsare running to a safe place.

Spectators running for safety.

A policeman is carrying a girl to a safe place.

Yancang back-flow bore caused serious injury to this girl’s buttocks.

A policeman is carrying a girl to a safe place.

A police officer carrying the injured girl to safety.

A visitor is carrying a girl to a safe place.

A tourist carrying her injured child to safety.

A visitor is looking like a drowned rat after being washed away.

People are a mess.

Spectators hit by the huge waves, looking battered and in a mess.

Spectators are running away from the tide.

Tourists running towards safety.

A huge splash.

2013 August 22, at a tidal bore watching dike in Zhejiang Haining Laoyancang, spectators were washed off the dike. That day, influenced by typhoon “Trami”, the Qiantang River coast experienced Level 7-8 winds, raising huge waves at the wave-watching dike in Zhejiang Haining Laoyancang. The back-flow bore washed a lot of spectators off the dike, with many people on the scene suffering various degrees of injury.

People being washed by the tide.

The back-flow bore ruthlessly washed spectators off the dike at Yancang.

Many visitors are running away from the tide.

People are in the flood of the tide.

Many visitors turned into drenched chickens by the bore.

People are being washed away by the tide.

The tide is splashing upon cars.

the bore is washing down from the dike.

The tidal bore washing over the dike. Influenced by No.12 typhoon “Trami” of this year, tides in Qiantang River were much higher than usual that day. Many people had their clothes and possessions soaked by the tidewater that poured over the dike.

Some vehicles after the tide.

Various vehicles knocked over beside the dike.

The guard rail is destroyed by the tidewater.

Fencing destroyed by the tide.

Comments from Youku:


Tofu-dregs [poor construction].

wudi大仙: (responding to above)

Stupid, you think the destructive power [of the tide] is like draining off the water in the fishpond in your village?

5931281: (responding to above)

Are you a 2B. This is only the front of the wave, and the wall was destroyed by the first attack. You know, the function of the wave wall is to keep off the violent wind and waves. The dike has a history of several decades at most. What’s more, the tides are not as huge as this every time and they don’t happen every day of the year, this is just a short moment in a year but the wall couldn’t hold it. What if it was a huge flood and the dike was repeatedly washed? Then people would be waiting to die, wouldn’t they? We should reflect when something happens. You can’t always say it’s because of the force of nature. Why do people flee when volcanoes erupt? It’s because we can’t defend against that kind of power. Why was this dike built and why do people dare to watch? It’s because we think we can defend against it. But shoddy construction has lowered our sense of security to the lowest. I bet [this wall] is even inferior to some ancient city walls.


With some people, I don’t know if it’s because they no idea how powerful the tide is or if they’re just not afraid of death. I am from Qingdao. There are always some non-local visitors stuck or washed by the rising tide every year.


The tide says: It’s not because I’m too strong; it’s your shoddy construction that is too weak.


“Heart will not die before reaching Qiantang River” [a literal translation of the original Chinese text, which is a play on a Chinese phrase that figuratively means one will not give up until something is achieved].


What “haven’t yet recovered from shock”? It looks to me they’re hooting about how enjoyable it was! We have typhoons here every year, and there are always some inland people going to the seaside to watch the tidal waves. The local police can’t get even dissuade them, nor drag them away [from the danger].


I am from Haining and this really isn’t shoddy construction. The tide comes twice a day and the power of the impact is extremely frightening. It may not feel very shocking in the video, but only by standing on the seawall can you really feel the true power of nature.


The reason why these stones [that formed the wall] could be collapsed by the wave is because it was rather moist [humid?] that day, and that the river water isn’t like distilled water and contains large amount of silt which increases the destructive power of the water. What more, don’t think humans can conquer the earth [nature], there are still many unknown things waiting for us to discover…


Every year something [bad] happens but every year there are a lot of people going [there to watch the waves]…


The arc-shaped dike of the Qiantang River levee is very designed very spaciously, very beautiful! There’s even a section of green lawn, to lessen the impact of the tidal bore. Thanks to the hard-working cameraman, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to see such spectacular scenery. Pay attention to your safety, though.


The stuff swept over was just the stone wall that served as the guardrail; the main body of the levee wasn’t broken. Not long ago, a hole appeared at a part of the main body of the dam due to the tide. Dangerous things happened every year at Qiantang River before the government invested money to build a standard sea embankment, and every time a typhoon hit, surrounding militia and Party members had to deal with the [damage/danger caused by the] typhoon for days.


No matter how advanced our technology is, we still can’t defend against nature’s revenge.


The government could totally change that right angle dike into an obtuse angle, which would allow the tide to simply slap against the shore without there being injuries to people. Think about problems instead of making problems. What’s important are the people’s lives and property.

Comments from Sohu:

已注销 [搜狐广西壮族自治区网友]:

Suggest insurance companies to set up stalls there every year on this occasion. Accident insurance will sure be on hot sell.

已注销 [搜狐湖北省省直辖行政单位网友]:

I am from Qiantang River area. I see people die every year for not knowing how terrible the tidewater is. I’ve seen with my every eyes that some non-local people playing beside the river when the tide was about to come. They had no idea of the strong tide and ignored the people who were asking them to come up. When the tide was near, they just couldn’t escape even if they wanted to… and died in the Qiantang River in the end. Their bodies couldn’t even be found. We local people usually know if the tides are big or small and at what time a tide will raise, so it’d be better if non-local friends don’t go down the River bank easily.

搜狐新闻客户端网友 [搜狐浙江省嘉兴市网友]:

I guess few of you have seen the Qiantang tide. There are tens of thousand visitors crowded around the river side on lunar August 15. Maybe it’s because the tide reaches the highest level that day. Anyway, if you go to watch it, you might be as miserable as them! The tide on the east side of the river is the biggest and the best. You will feel it’s all dark when the tidewater comes straight at you, with very loud noises and fierce momentums, making people want to run away. Actually, you can’t see the tide when it comes in front of you, because the tide is very billowy and tumbles toward you. It’s like a black hole overwhelms you. How exciting it is! A crowd of people near us yelled at that time! Oh fuck, it’s going to get rich [a Chinese exclamation to express being amazed]!

本人易飞 [搜狐湖北省武汉市网友]:

I can assure everybody here that people are always curious, especially Chinese people! Few people can resist their curiosity and not go there! I can’t even guaranty I wouldn’t go there!!! So only after they are busted and learned a lesson would they know it’s not a place they should go or a thing they should do. Most Chinese people are just like this, never reflect on themselves but complain about other people!! Nor do they learn a less from others. They must experience themselves to know the pain.

搜狐网友19824777 [搜狐江苏省南京市网友]:

Didn’t the local government take any safety measures for this? Though the back-flow tide in Yancang is a natural phenomenon, the local government should know how terrible it is. Why couldn’t they take precautions in advance? From netizens’ posts, we can see that local people know how terrible the tide is and people die because of it every year. The local government never seemed interested in taking safety precautions.

崇福妈咪 [搜狐重庆市网友]: (responding to above)

I’m also from there. Actually, there’s usually someone there to tell people to go to a higher concrete place to watch the tidal wave, but there are always people who insist on climbing down to the river shore, or insist on going to spots that aren’t designated for wave watching. Once when I went to watch the tide, I even saw someone park their cars right by the river side. I was speechless.

搜狐网友19824777 [搜狐江苏省南京市网友]: (responding to above)

It is precisely because of this phenomenon that management has to be strengthened. If it’s as you said that “there are always people who insist on climbing down to the river shore, or insist on going to spots that aren’t designated for wave watching”. If there were some police officers maintaining order there, there would never be any problem of “climbing down to the river shore”, nor would avoidable tragedies happen.

爱像蒲公英523在搜狐 [搜狐广东省深圳市网友]:

You clearly know a typhoon has come and instead of avoiding it, you instead go closer to watch! You think it’s fun? Having fun showing off how fearless and unafraid of death you are! And yet when the wave hits, you run faster than anyone! Fuck you, don’t run away! Weren’t you not afraid of death? If you have the balls, don’t run! No matter if they were injured or killed, these people all don’t deserve sympathy! They deserve it.

烟花沼泽57320982 [搜狐网友]:

If I didn’t see that a girl was injured, I would’ve been ready to scold/criticize people. Honestly, certain people should really be allowed to suffer the consequences once. Always forgetting, year after year this kind of thing happens. Who knows, maybe some lawyers will be saying again that the government didn’t put up warning signs and the government should take responsibility [for the injured] and so on.

搜狐新闻客户端网友 [搜狐湖北省网友]:

Some people “clearly know there’s a tiger in the mountains and insist on going into the mountains”, which is totally playing with their lives. And then there are those who even take their children to watch the tide. These people’s death is not to be sympathized, but please don’t involve children. I’m speechless.


Written by Jamie

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