At Least 20 Killed, 19 Missing In China Rainstorms

In just 40 hours, Beijing experienced nearly the average rainfall for the entire month of July.
By Ekeremor Justina

State media reported that heavy rains struck Beijing and nearby provinces, leading to at least 20 fatalities and 19 people missing. The downpours caused roads to be submerged and neighborhoods to be flooded with mud. Storm Doksuri, previously a super typhoon, moved northwards across China after hitting Fujian province and the Philippines.

In just 40 hours, Beijing experienced nearly the average rainfall for the entire month of July.

The suburbs of the city were severely affected, with some of the heaviest rainfall seen in years. The banks of the Mentougou river, a badly hit area, were covered in muddy debris.

One individual recalled that the last time he witnessed such flooding was in July 2012 when 79 people lost their lives, and tens of thousands were evacuated.

“This time it’s much bigger than that,” he said, declining to give his name.

“It’s a natural disaster, there’s nothing you can do,” a 20-year-old man surnamed Qi, who was waiting for a taxi with his grandmother outside a hospital, told AFP.

“(We) still have to work hard and rebuild.”

According to state broadcaster CCTV on Tuesday, the heavy rains in Beijing resulted in the deaths of at least 11 people, including two workers who were killed while carrying out rescue operations. Thirteen individuals were still missing, but 14 others were found safe. In the neighboring Hebei province, nine people lost their lives, and six remained missing. Additionally, two casualties were reported in northeastern Liaoning province during the weekend.

President Xi Jinping has urged all possible efforts to rescue those who are lost or trapped due to the rains. Over 100,000 people considered at risk in Beijing have been evacuated, as reported by the state-owned Global Times newspaper. Authorities have allocated 110 million yuan ($15.4 million) for disaster relief work in the affected areas of the capital and surrounding provinces, as stated by CCTV.


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