Sat, July 28, 2012
China > Mainland

Search-and-rescue efforts continue for the missing

2012-07-28 04:54:34 GMT2012-07-28 12:54:34(Beijing Time)  China Daily

Chen Baocun, 60, rides an airbed in a reservoir in search of his missing friend Cai Shoujiang near Gushankou village in Fangshan district in Beijing on Thursday. Cai disappeared in the heavy rains and flooding of July 21. [Photo by Cui Muyang / for China Daily]

Beijing's government and residents continued to search on Friday for those missing in the July 21 downpour and flooding.

The Beijing Municipal Government Information Office has released a 24-hour public hotline (010-6201-4533) for those with information about missing victims, according to the official micro blog of the municipal government.

Seven days after the heaviest rain in more than six decades hit the capital, relatives and residents were still searching for those missing since the downpour. Meanwhile, the public security bureau is still trying to determine the identities of the 11 unidentified victims through DNA identification.

Those searching for missing relatives or friends are doing so through various channels, including messages on weibo, China's popular Twitter-like micro-blogging service, and by posting physical messages around the areas where the missing persons disappeared.

Wang Yang, a resident in his 30s from Beijing's Yanqing county, has put up posters and sent out fliers with a photo and information about his dad, a 61-year-old man who disappeared in the night of July 21 when the downpour hit the city.

Although many posters have been put up in the area where his dad might be, Wang has got no messages or information about his whereabouts.

Wang said his dad, who was going to take Bus 919 from Yanqing to downtown Beijing, was never heard from after 5 pm that day.

"I vividly remember he was wearing a gray T-shirt and black trousers, a gray cap and carrying a bag," said Wang. "That might be the last image I have of my dad."

Wang said he was not allowed to see the unidentified victims as they are already unidentifiable. However, the police said they are working on the DNA of the victims and will release the identities of them soon.

Wang and his mother have had their DNA extracted for comparison with the unidentified victims, and are still anxiously waiting for the results.

"It is a blow to the whole family indeed," said Wang. "However, as long as we have not heard from the police, we will keep looking for my father, through all means."

Also still missing is Yang Han, a 29-year-old from Fangshan district, who was swept away on July 25, according to his 51-year-old father, Yang Sumin.

The local police station has collected his son's DNA on Wednesday but the family hasn't received any feedback, according to Yang Sumin.

In the disaster-hit areas, volunteers are searching for those missing in the past few days.

"It's not clear whether or when we can find the missing victims in this area," Zhao Lijie, a publicity officer at Chengguan town of Fangshan district, told China Daily on Friday. "But we will not give up. Many local residents are voluntarily working together to find those missing in the past few days."

Meanwhile, the hunt for the missing continues.

Sitting on the a blue airbed while floating on a reservoir now filled with floating branches, animal carcasses and trash, 60-year-old Chen Baocun from Gushankou village of Fangshan district has been searching for his companion since July 21. The missing man, 61-year-old Cai Shoujiang, was swept away by the flood that hit the district, according to the Beijing News.

"I will do whatever I can to find him," said Chen. "He's too good a guy to leave us."

Cai was at the foot of the hill when the rainfall and the flood hit the village on July 21. Because of his poor hearing, Cai remained at the foot of the hill while the residents were asked to move to higher ground.

"One wave, and he's gone," Chen said.

Zheng Zhijie, Cai's sister-in-law, said that Cai left nothing but a notebook, about eight patched items of clothing and a ponytail, which Cai used to drive mosquitoes away from his paralyzed father, who is in his 90s.

Pan Anjun, deputy head of the municipal flood control and drought relief headquarters, said that although there have been no further reports of missing people, the headquarters will continue search efforts.

His words were echoed by Zhai Ruisheng, Party chief of the Beicheying village in Fengtai district, who said that no reports of missing people has been received recently, and the village is now working on clearing the streets and mending the local infrastructure while distributing relief materials to residents in the disaster areas.

Villager You Fengqi said, "We are now clearing the sludge stuck in the closets and clearing up the soaked quilts and clothes. It might take a month to get the village back in shape. The losses are just immeasurable."

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