Amid record-breaking floods in China, premier calls for stepped up disaster control and relief
- Executive meeting of the State Council told more extreme weather predicted and everything must be done to ensure ‘safety of people’s lives and property’
- In Yingde, Guangdong province, more than 400,000 people are affected by the largest floods on record and 30,000 have been safely relocated
“We should deploy the party Central Committee and the State Council to strengthen responsibilities, improve the linkage mechanism of early warning and emergency response, continue to do a good job in flood control and disaster relief and ensure the safety of people’s lives and property,” Li said at the meeting, according to Xinhua.
On Thursday, state-owned China News Network reported that Yingde in Guangdong province had been hit by the largest floods on record. More than 400,000 people were affected by the floods in the city and 30,000 had been safely relocated, the report said. No casualties have been reported.
Police officers were sent to more than 300 rescue and transfer operations to aid more than 1,000 people who were trapped, state broadcaster CCTV reported.
The city has experienced water, power and communications disruptions since Monday afternoon when the floods started.
By 2pm on Wednesday, the Bei River – the main river flowing through Yingde – reached a peak of 35.97 metres (118 feet), 9.97 metres higher than the warning level and the highest on record, according to the local hydrology bureau.
Zhang Caihong, who grew up in the rural part of Yingde but now lives in the city, said its urban areas were not badly affected by the floods but the situation in the rural area was “severe”.
“The water and power supply were cut off in both places. But the rain abated today, and the sun came out,” she said.
“[At first] I was not able to connect with my parents, uncle and younger sister. I was so worried about them,” Zhang said. “Luckily, the government and warm-hearted people went to rescue them and relocate them to a nursing home.”
Across southern China, many other cities have seen their rivers surge recently. The water levels of 99 rivers exceeded the warning line from Tuesday to Wednesday, according to statistics from the Ministry of Water Resources.
The Ministry of Emergency Management sent out warnings about heavy rainfall safety risks to 10 provinces on Wednesday night, according to the country’s national emergency broadcasting centre.