Yaan earthquake

Quake-hit Yaan to see heavy rainfall, disaster risks raised

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 April, 2013, 1:02pm
UPDATED : Monday, 29 April, 2013, 1:55pm

Heavy rainfall this summer could hamper reconstruction efforts in earthquake-stricken Yaan and set the scene for follow-up disasters, China’s meteorological authority has warned.

Yaan, in central Sichuan province, will see an average of 1,200mm of rainfall across the region from May to September - nearly three times the national average, China Meteorological Administration spokesman Chen Zhenlin said in a press briefing on Sunday.

The city was at the epicentre of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit on April 20, killing at least 196 people.

Chen said increased rainfall would lead to a more volatile geological environment that could possibly lead to “secondary disasters” arising from floods, mudslides and large thunderstorms.

The city gets an average of 1,700mm of rain each year, giving it the nickname "Rain City". It has a monsoon-fed, humid subtropical climate.

Disaster warnings and forecasts would need to be adjusted to the increased risk, Chen said. Concentrating efforts on early forecasting of disasters and risk management would be more important than regular weather forecasting, he added.