BEIJING/SHIJIAZHUANG, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Two people have been killed during rainstorms in Beijing, and 52,384 have been relocated to safer places, as heavy downpours continued to lash the city and its neighboring province of Hebei on Monday.
The two people showed no vital signs when they were found in a river during an emergency patrol in the suburban Mentougou District on Monday morning.
The flood prevention authorities of Beijing announced on Monday evening, as of 8 p.m. Monday, 52,384 residents had been relocated in response to the rainstorms. Meanwhile, 107 roads in mountainous areas had been sealed off, 4,069 construction sites suspended, and all scenic spots and countryside hotels had been closed.
Late afternoon Monday, Beijing's Dongcheng District, Xicheng District, and Daxing District renewed red alerts for rainstorms due to forecasts of torrential rain with hourly precipitation above 100 mm till 8 a.m. Tuesday. Earlier on Monday, meteorological authorities in Beijing warned that small- and medium-sized rivers could experience flash floods and landslides.
A red alert for meteorological risk of geological disasters was also issued in the city on Monday. The alert reminded the public that the risk of geological disasters such as collapse and landslide would be very high from Monday noon to Wednesday noon.
By 4 p.m. Monday, the Chinese capital had seen 40 hours of continuous rainfall. Data shows that from 8 p.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Monday, the average rainfall in Beijing was 207.6 mm, with maximum rainfall exceeding 580 mm in a scenic spot in the Mentougou District.
On Monday afternoon, a bridge over the Yongding River in south Beijing's Fengtai District collapsed as water levels surged. No casualties have been reported so far.
Operations on 427 bus lines run by Beijing Public Transport Corporation were affected by 4 p.m. Monday, and several train routes in the suburban areas or departing from Beijing have suspended services.
By 1 p.m. Monday, more than 1,800 passengers and nearly 70 crew members on two trains which temporarily stopped in suburban Beijing due to railway closures had been evacuated. Meanwhile, those stranded in another train, which stopped at a relatively safe location, had been provided with food, water, and other necessities by Monday afternoon.
In the hard-hit Fangshan District of Beijing, 62 villages in seven townships have experienced suspension of telecommunication signals. Satellite telephones are employed in rescue and relief. Some places in Mentougou District have also suffered mobile signal suspension and power and water supply outages.
Beijing Communications Administration has set up on-site headquarters at Fangshan and Mentougou districts to guide the repair work on the damaged telecommunication infrastructure. The two districts have already sent communication support personnel, emergency communication vehicles and the like to the affected areas.
Hebei has also activated the highest level alerts for rainstorms, flood control, and waterlogging prevention in response to heavy rainfall.
The Hebei provincial meteorological observatory continued to issue a red alert for rainstorms at 8:59 am on Monday. It forecast that stormy weather will persist on Monday in parts of Zhangjiakou, Chengde, Tangshan, Baoding, the Xiong'an New Area, Langfang, and Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital, with accumulative precipitation likely exceeding 250 mm in some areas.
As of Monday noon, more than 54,890 people in the city of Baoding in Hebei had been evacuated, and powerful flood waters had destroyed several bridges in the city's Fuping Township, according to the city's flood control and drought relief headquarters.
The city of Langfang on Monday afternoon ordered residents in several districts near the Yongding River to evacuate due to a forecast of flood on the river. ■