The recent severe flooding in Beijing, China, has caused significant distress as authorities announced on Wednesday that the number of casualties had increased to 33, with an additional 18 individuals still unaccounted for.
Beijing has been slammed by record rainfall in recent weeks, with the deluge causing havoc to infrastructure and destroying thousands of homes.
“I would like to express my deep condolences to those who died in the line of duty and the unfortunate victims,” Xia Linmao, one of the city’s vice mayors, said during a press conference, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
Five rescuers were among the dead.
Agriculture and infrastructure hit hard
City officials said some 59,000 homes had collapsed in the flooding, while another 150,000 had been damaged, especially in Beijing’s mountainous western outskirts.
The flooding also took its toll on cropland, with more than 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) hit.
Scores of roads across the city region were also damaged, as were over 100 bridges.
Xia said that rebuilding and repairs could take up to three years.
Heavy rains and floods have also hit regions across northern China — thanks in part to Typhoon Doksuri over the weekend.
Hebei province, which neighbors Beijing, officials reported that 15 people had been killed and 22 were still missing. In northeastern Jilin, the toll was 14 dead and one person reported missing on Sunday.
Some 125,000 residents from the city of Zhuozhuo to the southwest of Beijing were able to return to their homes on Saturday after flooding had necessitated their evacuation.
At the same time as parts of the country have been suffering from record rainfall, over regions have been hit by scorching summer heat and drought.
Increasingly intense and more frequent extreme weather events, as have been seen across the world over the past months — and years — have been connected to rising global temperatures caused in large part by carbon emissions.