Beijing has outlined a post-disaster reconstruction plan, aiming to achieve basic recovery in one year and comprehensive improvement in its response capacity in three years as well as long-term sustainable development, after torrential rainfall triggered by Typhoon Doksuri caused devastating floods in the capital.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Xia Linmao, executive vice-mayor of Beijing, said that 33 people, including five rescuers, died in the recent flooding, while 18 people, including a rescuer, remain missing as of Tuesday.
"We extend our sincerest condolences to their families," Xia said. A moment of silence was observed during the news conference to honor the deceased.
Beijing was battered by heavy downpours between 8 pm on July 29 and 7 am on Aug 2. The maximum amount of precipitation — 745 millimeters — was recorded at the Wangjiayuan Reservoir in Changping district, making it the heaviest rainfall recorded in the city in 140 years, Xia said.
Nearly 1.29 million people were affected and widespread economic losses were reported, especially in western Beijing's mountainous Fangshan and Mentougou districts, he said.
Disaster relief workers on Monday clean flood debris from under the Liuli River Bridge in Beijing's Fangshan district. (Provided to China Daily)
A total of 369 geological disasters were reported, which was 10.5 times higher than the annual average, according to the municipal government. Flooding led to the collapse of 59,000 houses and severely damaged another 147,000. Floodwaters also inundated over 15,000 hectares of farmland.
In the basic recovery phase, water management facilities and damaged houses will be repaired and reinforced in urban and rural areas within a year, Xia said. Post-disaster recovery and reconstruction work will be fully completed in three years with improvement in disaster prevention and reduction capacities, he said.
According to the vice-mayor, the steps for achieving long-term sustainable development will include optimizing the functional layout of affected areas and improving infrastructure and services.
Beijing has conducted a systematic and comprehensive assessment of restoration and reconstruction needs for water management, transport, power supply, communication and related infrastructure projects, and has drawn up detailed plans on implementation and funding, he added.
Pan Anjun, director of the Beijing Water Authority, said on Wednesday that based on flooding forecast, the city prepared 18 million cubic meters of space in reservoirs, rivers and lakes for floodwater storage 36 hours in advance. "Flood control facilities were fully utilized to channel floodwaters in a proper way," Pan said.
A coordinated consultancy conference on flood control was held among Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, after which the capital utilized two reservoirs along the Yongding River to slow the rising level of water and create conditions for flood control in the downstream areas, Pan added.
Xia, the executive vice-mayor of Beijing, conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to all of those who helped with flood control and disaster relief work.
In the face of the unprecedented rainfall havoc, the central authorities, along with various crucial entities, have demonstrated unwavering support during the process of disaster response, Xia said, adding that the strenuous contributions made by everyone have culminated in a formidable force against the challenges posed by flooding and disaster.