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Beijing flood death toll hits 77

By Zhen Xin and Tan Zongyang (China Daily)

09:04, July 27, 2012

Residents rest outside their tents at a community in Guangqumen, Beijing’s Dongcheng district, on Wednesday. The residents once lived in basements, which were flooded in the downpour on Saturday, and have been living in tents since then.

Highways to get water indicators as people battle to resume normal life

The death toll from the storm that lashed the capital on Saturday climbed to 77, as more bodies were retrieved, the Beijing municipal government said on Thursday night.

Eleven of the bodies have yet to be identified.

Of the 66 identified victims, five perished in the line of duty, according to the Information Office of the municipal government.

Of the remaining 61 civilian victims, 36 men and 25 women, 46 drowned and five died from electric shock. Collapsed buildings claimed three lives, two people were struck by flood debris and two died from trauma-induced shock.

Falling objects killed two people and one person was hit by lightning.

The massive debris flow made search operations more difficult, and this caused a delay in the government releasing figures, said Pan Anjun, deputy head of the municipal flood control and drought relief headquarters. Identification procedures had to be carried out thoroughly, he said.

The government will continue search efforts but there are no further reports of missing people, the information office said. The heaviest rain in more than six decades battered the capital on Saturday, with the average precipitation reaching 170 mm while a town, in the suburban district of Fangshan, saw 460 mm.

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