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Capital flood death toll hits 37

[ 2012-07-23 11:27] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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The 20-hour storm that hit Beijing on Saturday claimed the lives of 37 people - 25 of the deaths were caused by drowning.

Millions of people across the capital were hit by the deluge and thousands were evacuated from their homes. The deluge caused losses of at least 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), according to the Beijing municipal government.

The southwestern district of Fangshan was the hardest hit. Of the 56,933 people evacuated in the city, 20,990 came from Fangshan. There were two landslides in the district.

The rainfall reached 460 millimeters in the district, the highest ever recorded, according to the government.

In the rest of Beijing, the average was 170 mm, the highest since 1951.

The Juma River, which runs across Fangshan, flooded and its maximum volume reached 2,500 cubic meters per second, a flow rate "rarely recorded", according to the Beijing government.

Few Fangshan residents were prepared for the downpour, which occurred almost without warning.

Guo Yanwei, a 25-year-old who works at the Changkuang coal mine in Fangshan, was holding a party for eight people at her home.

At 5:30 pm, she became aware that the water had reached her doorstep. Just 10 minutes later, the floodwaters had reached a depth of 1.3 meters.

"I noticed the weather forecast on Friday, but we did not know the rain would be so overwhelming and flood my home so quickly," she said.

Guo's sister carried her son to the second floor of an adjacent building. Guo and her friends climbed onto the roof of her house.

She shouted warnings to her neighbors to help them escape the water, which rose remorselessly.

The neighborhood was still a mess on Sunday morning, according to Guo. Five cars floated in the waters, and most of the residents were given shelter in a meeting hall at the mine.

As life in downtown Beijing returned to something approaching normality on Sunday, residents of the suburbs and outlying areas, such as the districts of Fangshan, Mentougou and Shijingshan, were still battling the effects of the storm.


1. How many of the deaths were caused by drowning?

2. How long did the storm hit Beijing for?

3. What is the cost of the damage the floods caused?


1. 25.

2. 20 hours.

3. At least 10 billion yuan.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Capital flood death toll hits 37

About the broadcaster:

Capital flood death toll hits 37

Rosie Tuck is a copy editor at the China Daily website. She was born in New Zealand and graduated from Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Communications studies majoring in journalism and television. In New Zealand she was working as a junior reporter for the New Zealand state broadcaster TVNZ. She is in Beijing on an Asia New Zealand Foundation grant, working as a journalist in the English news department at the China Daily website.