Beijing readies shelters, relocates flood victims

2023-08-02 08:23:02China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Hundreds of thousands of people affected by heavy rain and flooding in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region have been relocated to temporary shelters, authorities said on Tuesday.

Continuous rainfall between Saturday night and 6 am on Tuesday affected more than 44,600 people in 13 districts of Beijing and prompted the relocation of around 127,000 people, local flood control authorities said.

Beijing's mountainous Mentougou district, which has experienced severe flooding, has set up several shelters to provide temporary accommodations and daily necessities for affected residents.

"We started preparing the shelter on Saturday, and have received around 130 people from over 60 households since Monday afternoon," said Li Xuemei, 52, a civil servant from Mentougou, who is in charge of a shelter at Longquan Elementary School.

A storage room on the school's ground floor is being used to stock food, folding beds and bedding, while 10 classrooms have been turned into temporary accommodations.

"We started the shelter with food supplies for three days. Now, with traffic having resumed, we can buy more supplies," Li said.

In some mountain villages in Mentougou, roads have been washed away, communication networks severely hit and power supply infrastructure damaged, cutting residents off from the outside world.

"Residents of two buildings near a mountain were evacuated and brought to the shelter. The buildings were not damaged, but their ground floors are filled with mud. Government workers are cleaning them," Li said.

A three-member medical team has been sent to the Longquan Elementary School shelter. "We have many elderly people who needed regular medical care. ...We took some of them to nearby hospitals. Things are going smoothly," said Li, who had not returned home since Saturday. "It's all right, we will get through it," he added.

Jiang Nan, 38, and her 12-year-old child were among those taken to the temporary shelter in the school. She said that civil servants were fetching water from outside to help them use toilets, as there was no tap water supply.

In Beijing's Fangshan district, which also experienced heavy flooding, 13,288 people have been relocated to shelters.

Fangshan authorities worked through Monday night to arrange food, drinking water, emergency lights and other supplies for affected residents. The supplies were being transported to Shahe Airport. Four helicopters will airdrop them in affected mountain villages, where rain and flooding have destroyed roads.

Meanwhile, Tianjin upgraded its flood emergency response to the highest level on Tuesday.

"More than 35,000 people have been relocated from areas prone to flooding," said Zhang Dongfang, an official from the local emergency management bureau.

Torrential rainfall has also battered Hebei province, damaging bridges and prompting evacuation efforts. The province renewed an orange alert for rainstorms on Tuesday.

A total of 847,400 people have been relocated so far, according to data from the provincial government.


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