Thousands evacuated as floods ravage south China

Hundreds of thousands of people in China have been evacuated in several southern and eastern provinces after unrelenting rains caused floods and triggered landslides.

Two provinces upgraded flood warnings on Tuesday as rivers overflowed and floodwater levels broke a 50-year high.

Videos on state media showed cars being washed down streets, and people being rescued with ropes across swollen rivers.

The area was seeing its highest rainfall since 1961, weather officials said.

Residents of communities living along river banks and in low-lying neighbourhoods have been urged to move to higher ground.

The city of Shaoguan in Guangdong province has been one of the worst affected, prompting officials to raise its flood alert to the highest level as the city charted record of rainfallsince late May. A similar alert was put in place for Guangdong’s Qingyuan city.

In the low-lying Pearl River basin, which encircled Guangdong and Guangxi, the rain had disrupted supply chains, manufacturing and shipping already suffering under strict anti-Covid measures.

Meanwhile in Jiangxi province in the south-east China, authorities raised a flood warning after 485,000 people in nine districts were affected, according to Xinhua News.

Xinhua reported that the area had suffered economic damage put at 470 million Yuan ($70.2 million, £57 million), with 43,300 hectares of crops destroyed.

Local officials have warned the situation was likely to worsen in the coming days and will continue to raise water levels in the Pearl River basin.

China’s National Meteorological Centre said the average rainfall in Guangdong, Fujian and Guangxi provinces between early May and the middle of June reached 621 millimetres – the highest since 1961.

The summer rainy season regularly resulted in flooding in southern China, but there were concerns that climate change was exacerbating the situation.

In contrast, many areas in the north of the country were experiencing unusually high temperatures, but the rain was forecast to hit there next.

Torrential rain last week led to houses collapsing and triggered landslides across more than 70 districts and cities in the province.

Heavy rainfall was hampering rescue efforts, officials said.

The flooding comes less than three months after extreme rains in Henan province left more than 300 dead. -Xinhua

Show More
Back to top button