33 dead in rain-related incidents in Beijing

Beijing, August 9 (IANS): At least 33 people died in rain-related incidents in Beijing, authorities in the Chinese capital said on Wednesday.

There are 18 others still missing, including a rescuer, Xia Linmao, deputy mayor of Beijing, told a press conference.

The deaths of the aforementioned 33 people were mainly due to flooding and the collapse of houses.

From July 29 to August 2, Beijing was battered by severe torrential rains triggered by typhoon Doksuri.

It was the heaviest rainfall in Beijing since records began 140 years ago.

Rain-triggered flooding has affected nearly 1.29 million people and around 15,000 hectares of crops.

According to Xia, these numbers are expected to grow as the property loss assessment continues.

The torrential downpour has caused significant damage to infrastructure in the mountainous areas, affecting water supply in 507 villages, causing power outages in 273 villages and 16 residential communities, and disrupting communications in 342 villages.

Transportation came to a halt in 256 villages.

Thanks to the relentless rescue and recovery efforts, most of the villages have successfully had their power supply, drinking water, telecommunications services and transportation restored.

Beijing has also ensured that essential daily necessities, emergency supplies and medical treatment are available to the affected population, and has taken swift action to initiate post-disaster epidemic prevention work, according to the deputy mayor.

The city has formulated a recovery and reconstruction plan, and will accelerate its implementation, Xia said.