Tens of thousands in Zhejiang stranded by unprecedented downpours
Heavy rains and flooding devastating the eastern Zhejiang province has left tens of thousands of local residents stranded in their homes without power or water supply in the aftermath of Typhoon Fitow.
Yuyao city, one of the most developed regions in the coastal province, located about 100km south of China’s financial hub Shanghai, has been the worst-hit area from days of unprecedented heavy rainfall.
Over 70 per cent of the city has been completely swamped by the floods, news portal zjoL.com reported, citing a rescue relief official, while two water suppliers and an electric power plant had stopped regular operations, said a statement from Yuyao government.
Many local residents told the website that flood deluged their homes with the water level reaching their waists, and some up to their chests. A number of them reported they had experienced power shortages, and were running out of food and water as the entire city’s traffic has been brought to a standstill.
One family in Lubu district, including two 90-year olds, said they were stranded by the floods and had to retreat to the second floor of their home. In a phone interview with the website, they said they had been living on just crackers and their phones would soon run out of battery.
On Tuesday a pregnant woman called for help on the social networking website Sina Weibo, saying she was expected to give birth shortly but was still stranded at home. She was later relieved from the predicament after her husband put together a makeshift boat out of wooden planks and transported her out of the house to safety, the woman told the website.
“However because of the presence of Typhoon Danas, rain clouds will remain over China’s coastal regions for a longer period,” said Qian Yanzhen, chief meteorologist of Ningbo’s meteorological centre. Typhoon Danas has been roaming over territorial waters hundreds of kilometres off China’s eastern coast for days and was heading towards Japan as of Wednesday.
According to the news portal, flooding in Yuyao has affected more than 830,000 residents in the city and caused a total economic loss of nearly 7 billion yuan.
Yuyao authority said it had dispatched over 4,000 soldiers for disaster relief efforts but anticipated the impact would be felt for a long period of time.
Meanwhile, Yuyao police on Wednesday arrested two women for spreading online rumours, the government said on its official Sina Weibo account.
The blog post said the two residents, surnamed Zhang and Tang, falsely claimed in a post on the internet that the severe floods led to the collapse of a local dam and killed more than forty residents.
Police put the pair under administrative detention for three and five days respectively, the announcement said. It is the latest detention since China’s judiciary last month officially unveiled a set of laws criminalising certain activities involving online rumours.