Beijing rainstorm victims revive in shelters

Updated: 2012-08-13 19:40


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BEIJING - Tens of thousands of victims of the deadly rainstorm that lashed Beijing have started to rebuild their lives after moving to transitional shelters built by the government.

As of August 6, construction of 5,731 transitional shelters, including 3,267 make-shift shelters, have been completed in 40 relocation sites in Beijing's Fangshan district. The area was hardest hit by the July 21 rainstorm that left 79 dead.

The rainstorm, the heaviest in nearly six decades, destroyed 13,400 homes and damaged 90,000 others in 430 villages and 118 communities in Fangshan alone, affecting lives of 800,000 people.

Beijing rainstorm victims revive in shelters

Paramilitary policemen (C) carry on rescue operation amid heavy rainfalls on a flooded street under the Guangqumen overpass in central Beijing, July 21, 2012.[Photo/Agencies]

In the village of Hongsi in the Chengguan township, where 500 shelters were delivered to rainstorm victims on August 5, a clinic, a police station and a supermarket were built to help the relocated people. The government also set up table-tennis facilities for the villagers.

Liu Shufang, 60, is from the village of Dongjie in the same township. Her three-member family moved to a one-room transitional house after their home was destroyed in the rainstorm-triggered flood.

Their 20-square-m room consists of furniture, including a double-bed, a closet and table. Bags of rice and flour, bottled water and cooking oil as well as some vegetables are piled up in the corner of the room.

"The bed, the quilts, the closet and the food are all rationed by the government and I don't have to worry about my life here," Liu told reporters.

The Beijing government has sped up construction of the transitional shelters to help bring back normality to the rainstorm victims as they attempt to rebuild their homes.

Among the transitional houses, there are 2,464 that are designed to withstand harsh weather during winter.

A total of 137 people from the village of Beiyao moved to their new homes, in one of the relocation sites, in the township of Yancun on August 5.

Du Guiliang, the deputy party chief of the village, said more than 400 other villagers from about 100 families will move to the site soon.

Eight families in the relocation site share a kitchen, while each family is allocated a gas cooker and a sink.

The water supply bureau in Fangshan district has provided clean drinking water to residents in 181 affected villages where boreholes were contaminated.

Clinics were set up in each relocation sites, and a daily health check scheme was put in place to prevent disease breaking out after the disaster, according to Beijing Center for Diseases Control and Prevention.

No contagious diseases or food poisoning cases were reported after the rainstorm thanks to the pre-emptive measures, the center said.