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Further flood damage likely, warns ministry

By LI HONGYANG | China Daily | Updated: 2021-08-12 08:57
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A store owner sorts his goods on Tuesday after flooding in Weihui, Henan province. The city was hit by a flood late last month. Residents began to return home recently and reconstruction work has begun. ZHANG CONG/FOR CHINA DAILY

Floods will continue to cause damage and pose hazards in many parts of China this month due to heavy rain, the Ministry of Emergency Management said.

Heilongjiang's provincial government has raised its emergency response level for flooding, with its water resources department forecasting that part of the Heilong River will rise about 3 meters above the warning level between Thursday and Saturday.

The ministry said on Monday that northern and eastern parts of China will see 20 percent to 50 percent more rain than normal and floods may hit the Yellow, Haihe and Songhua rivers in those areas this month.

With rainwater having accumulated since the start of last month, people need to take precautions against mountain torrents and urban floods, it warned.

Over the past few days, firefighters, residential community workers, officials and emergency service personnel have been hard at work to combat floods.

Early Wednesday morning, a thunderstorm battered Xiamen in Fujian province. People said in Sina Weibo micro blog posts that they were awakened by thunder and downpours triggered car alarms.

Transport departments implemented controls on flooded roads, while firefighters and community workers evacuated residents before dawn from houses that posed a danger.

In Qingyuan, Guangdong province, people were clearing up and rebuilding after flooding caused widespread destruction on Wednesday.

The flooding caused two houses to collapse, along with eight roads beside a river, and cranes were working in mountain areas of the city to clear mudslides, local media reported.

On Tuesday, Bai Fan, deputy head of the water resources department in Shaanxi province, told a news conference that rain and floods had affected 775,000 people this year, causing 4 billion yuan ($617 million) of losses.

Heads of governments at all levels in the province should pay attention to flood prevention and control, and administrators, engineers and technicians have been assigned to manage specific rivers and reservoirs, Bai said. Early warnings for floods and early evacuation work should be enhanced, and authorities especially needed to check subways, drainage systems, low-lying areas, houses that posed a danger and construction sites during heavy rainfall.

Dazhou, a city in southwestern China's Sichuan province, and Chongqing saw damage to roads and cars and the loss of livestock from floods over the past few days, local media reported.

On Monday, Central China's Henan province promised that within three months it will basically restore electricity, transportation and communication infrastructure damaged by heavy flooding since mid-July.

Chao Qingchen, deputy head of the National Climate Center, said at a news conference on Aug 4 that global warming has accelerated changes in the atmosphere, causing extreme weather to occur more frequently.

"Over the past six decades, China hasn't seen too much increase in precipitation, while heavy rain happened more," she said.

"Green and low-carbon development can mitigate against climate change and reduce extreme weather."

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