China’s northern province of Hebei will need two years to rebuild the region after it was hit by its worst floods in 60 years, state media China News Service reported on Friday.
Hebei experienced the worst floods in living memory earlier this month after Typhoon Doksuri battered northern China, causing at least 29 deaths and 95.8 billion yuan ($13.3 billion) of direct economic losses in the province alone.
Almost 5% of Hebei’s 74.2 million residents were affected by the floods, with over 40,000 homes destroyed and a further 155,500 houses seriously damaged, officials said. About 2 million residents have been displaced by the disaster.
The province will make sure affected residents can move back to their homes or have new homes before this winter, China News Service reported, citing a briefing by officials.
This year’s floods were the most extensive in Hebei since 1963, with 51.5% of its landmass receiving over 100 millimetres of rainfall, provincial officials said told the briefing.
Some residents in the city of Zhuozhou, one of Hebei’s worst-affected areas, have criticised the local government for not providing them with more help after excess floodwaters from provincial reservoirs were diverted to so-called flood storage areas in the region.
Beijing officials said on Thursday that post-disaster reconstruction in the capital could take up to a year, after the floods caused 33 deaths, mostly in the city’s mountainous rural outskirts.
The central government has allocated a total of 7.74 billion yuan ($1.07 billion) to disaster relief funds for flood-stricken areas, including cities of Beijing and Tianjin, and provinces of Hebei, Heilongjiang and Jilin, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) said on Friday.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara