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Guilin battles severe flood, set to restore normalcy

Flood: 916 million yuan issued for disaster control

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in  Guangzhou and Shi Ruipeng in Nanning | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-21 00:35
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Multiple buildings and streets in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, were submerged in floods on Thursday. [Photo provided to]

Authorities in Guilin, a popular tourist destination in South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, have been going all-out to combat the city's most severe flooding since 1998, with priority given to minimizing casualties and economic losses.

Floodwaters began to recede on Thursday in the city, which had experienced downpours for more than a week, causing the rapid rise of the Lijiang River, which runs through the city.

The water level of the Lijiang reached 148.55 meters on Wednesday, which was 2.55 meters above the warning line and the highest since 1998, local authorities said.

In response, the local flood control department raised its emergency response for flood control to Level 1, the highest in the four-tier emergency response system, on Wednesday

The receding water of the Lijiang was expected to reach a level lower than the warning level on Thursday night, according to the city's water resources authority, but it warned of the continued risk of geological hazards, including mudslides and collapses.

A local resident surnamed Lin said most of the main urban area had been flooded due to its low terrain, with the deepest water being about chest level for an adult.

For safety reasons, the Guilin Railway Station temporarily suspended passenger transportation services beginning on Wednesday because of flooding in the adjacent square and inside the station's waiting area.

As of 2 pm on Thursday, the water in the station square had been removed, and workers continued to dredge and disinfect the area.

Meanwhile many scenic spots closed temporarily starting on Wednesday, and several bus routes were canceled or had to detour, authorities said, adding that many schools in the urban area have suspended classes since Wednesday.

The continuing torrential rains have also affected vast southern regions, especially in Fujian and Guangdong provinces.

In Shanghang county, Fujian, which was hit the worst by the heavy rain, 15 villages still had not restored communication as of Wednesday, and work to reopen roads and restore telecommunications has been carried out around the clock, according to CGTN.

In addition, more than 520 villagers in the county had been relocated on Wednesday due to potential landslides, and emergency supplies for the villagers have been prepared at the resettlement site. The supplies included daily necessities and adequate drinking water and food, according to the county government.

In Meizhou, Guangdong, another city hit hard by recent flooding, a 99-year-old woman who had been stranded in Shangtian village for four days was sent to a hospital for treatment. She was later discharged after her condition was stabilized.

In a heartwarming display of community support, Keram Amir, a restaurant owner in Meizhou who comes from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, cooked and distributed 1,000 nang, a type of flatbread, to the flood victims in Pingyuan county on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Finance, together with the Ministry of Water Resources, has issued 916 million yuan ($126 million) for flood control in southern China and for drought resistance efforts in the north.

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