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Rescue teams work around the clock in Zhuozhou

Rescue teams work around the clock in Zhuozhou

Leon Li 2023-08-03 11:22:02

Hou Xuezhong wolfed down a bowl of instant noodles on Wednesday afternoon during a short break, after working for more than eight hours to safely relocate residents trapped by floodwaters in Zhuozhou, Hebei province.

In the morning, the 31-year-old Hou, together with his colleagues from the Shanxi Tianlong Rescue Team, had helped from 100 to 200 people who had been trapped in a community where floodwater was up to 2 meters deep.

He recalled how a baby girl didn't cry when her mother handed her to him through a first-floor window. The mother said that "she was nervous and worried about her child, but was relieved to see the rescue team," Hou said.

A restaurant boss surnamed Zhang refused to allow the rescue team's members to pay for their lunch, saying that "it is what I should do for the city". As they left the restaurant, a woman from the neighborhood rushed over and gave them a bag of snacks to show her gratitude for their selfless efforts.

Rescue teams from across the country have arrived in Zhuozhou, parts of which were submerged after rainstorms swept the city. Average precipitation in Zhuozhou reached a rare high of 355.1 millimeters between Saturday and 11 am on Tuesday, the result of Typhoon Doksuri.

Zhuozhou, which is 80 kilometers southwest of Beijing, has six rivers, so in addition to the local downpours, the city faced the challenge of being inundated by flooding that occurred upstream.

Many bridges have been washed away in the city, leading to the interruption of some major transportation routes. Communication facilities have also been damaged, making rescue efforts extremely challenging, the local government said.

The emergency management department of Hebei province is guiding emergency response forces in carrying out the continuing rescue operations. Nearly 100 civil relief units, such as the Blue Sky Rescue Team and Ram Rescue Team, had arrived by Wednesday, local authorities said.

As of Wednesday, a total of 710 firefighters and 145 vehicles, as well as 200 forest and grassland firefighting personnel with 20 vehicles, had been deployed for rescue work in Zhuozhou.

The rescue teams brought more than 500 boats, Hebei Daily reported.

As of 10 am on Tuesday, about 134,000 residents were affected in Zhuozhou, and rescue and related efforts were still underway, official data showed. The city, which has a population of more than 650,000, was racing to provide drinking water and restore electricity, especially to the worst-hit areas.

A tearful Chen Shuangshuang, who was rescued from her house with two children, said: "The rescue teams overcame a lot of difficulties. They are also someone's fathers."

Residents of her community, which is in Zhuozhou's high-tech industrial development zone and was one of the areas most affected, had been trapped by floodwater as deep as 3 meters for more than two days, without drinking water or electricity.

At the Zhuozhou Vocational Education Center, a relocation site, about 2,000 residents have been provided with shelter in dormitories, with an additional 1,000 beds available. Supplies have also been delivered.

"Now we can guarantee three meals a day for the residents. There is a sufficient supply of mineral water, meat, eggs and milk," said Han Xuesong, Party secretary of the center, who added that the center also provides around-the-clock medical services.

Shan Yufen was sent to the center by a rescue team on Wednesday, along with her husband and granddaughter. "At least we have place to stay. I feel relieved. I am grateful to the kindhearted people who participated in the rescue efforts," she said.

Shan said a room was arranged for them upon arrival and the three were given a quick physical examination. The workers even gave her granddaughter some toys to lift her spirits, she added.

The above news was excerpted from china daily by China towel supplier Shenzhen City Dingrun Light Textile Import and Export Corp.Ltd, a company specialized in producing baby diapers, baby bibs, beach towel, blankets, bath towels, tea towels, compressed towels, microfiber towels etc.