Accidents, extreme weather and disasters in China
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Rescue workers evacuate a child from a flooded building after heavy rainfall in Xinli village of Shaoguan in Guangdong province on Tuesday. Photo: cnsphoto via Reuters

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
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for authorities nationwide to step up flood control and disaster relief efforts as severe flooding in the southern part of the country affects hundreds of thousands of people.
An executive meeting of the State Council that Li chaired on Wednesday was told there would be more extreme weather to come during this year’s flood season, which is typically July and August in China.

“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.

Scientists have warned that climate change will result in more extreme weather events, from more intense floods to droughts and heatwaves.
Every 1 degree Celsius rise in global warming is projected to lead to a 7 per cent increase in the intensity of extreme daily precipitation events worldwide, according to a “high confidence” projection by experts from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year.


Mass evacuations as record rainfall and floods batter southern China

Mass evacuations as record rainfall and floods batter southern China
Flooding in central China’s Henan province last year claimed more than 300 lives, displaced nearly 1 million people, and led to direct economic losses estimated at 133.7 billion yuan (US$20 billion), according to the provincial government.

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.

China could see more extreme weather this rainy season, forecasters say

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.”


Monsoon rains trigger deadly flooding that has displaced millions in India and Bangladesh

Monsoon rains trigger deadly flooding that has displaced millions in India and Bangladesh

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.