Ya'an braces as flooding season nears
The residents of Ya'an, still trying to recover and rebuild from the devastating earthquake, face new challenges as the flood season arrives.
The city in Sichuan province, hit by a magnitude-7 earthquake on April 20, is preparing for heavy rain from May to September. Loose debris will increase the danger of surging floodwaters and buildings already structurally weakened could topple.
The China Meteorological Administration and local authorities are also stepping up efforts to combat the spread of disease through tainted floodwater and instructing people how to cope, Chen Zhenlin, spokesman for the administration, said on Sunday.
The quake killed nearly 200 people.
"Ya'an is one of the wettest places in the country with an average rainfall exceeding 1,200 millimeters from May to September, almost triple the national average," he said.
The meteorological administration has experience of dealing with rainstorms in quake-hit areas. It set up lightning protection facilities at relocation sites after the Wenchuan quake in 2008 and it is doing the same in Ya'an, Chen said.
According to Tang Chuan, from the geo-hazard department at Chengdu University of Technology, Wenchuan experienced a number of landslides during the flood season and Ya'an, with traditionally heavier rainfall, is more likely to be hit.
The Red Cross Society of China raised 566 million yuan ($92 million) as of April 27, almost half the total national fund raising of 1.37 billion yuan.
Most of the donations to the Red Cross came from private enterprises and individuals, it said.
Zhao Baige, executive vice-president of the organization, said she was grateful that the public still has confidence in the Red Cross despite concerns over fundraising.
The organization is releasing information on how donations will be spent, she said.
People and organizations from all walks of life are lending a helping hand.
Three trucks loaded with relief materials, including tents, rain gear, electric generators and food, have arrived in Lushan county, the quake's epicenter.
The materials were donated by the EMBA association of Sichuan University's business school.
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