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Water to be diverted to drought-affected regions

By Yang Zekun | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-17 07:06
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People try to rescue a stranded vehicle on a flooded road in Hezhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Saturday. Heavy rainfall hit central and northern areas of Hezhou from Friday night into Saturday, leading to flooding on some roads. HUANG XUHU/FOR CHINA DAILY

Chinese authorities called for enhanced emergency water dispatch on Saturday to tackle drought conditions in North China and the Yellow River-Huaihe River region, and to ensure safe drinking water and secure water supply for agriculture.

The Office of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, along with the Ministry of Emergency Management and other central departments, held a video conference with 14 provinces and regions to analyze and assess their flood and drought situations. The focus was on arranging flood control and drought relief tasks.

A Level 4 emergency response for drought relief, the lowest of the four emergency response tiers, remains in effect for the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong and Henan. The National Committee for Disaster Reduction, the Ministry of Emergency Management and the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration have allocated 30,000 relief items to Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shandong and Henan to support drought relief efforts.

Since late last month, southern parts of North China, the Yellow River-Huaihe River region, the Yangtze River-Huaihe River region and the provinces of Hubei and Shaanxi have seen rainfall levels more than 50 percent below the average for the same period. Persistent high temperatures have accelerated soil moisture loss, exacerbating drought conditions.

To meet water demand for drought relief, the Yellow River Conservancy Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources has discharged water from the Xiaolangdi Reservoir in Henan multiple times since June 6.

The National Meteorological Center forecasts high temperatures from June 17 to 19 in eastern North China, the Yellow River-Huaihe River region and the Yangtze River-Huaihe River region, with the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region expecting temperatures up to 40 C.

Since June 9, parts of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou have experienced torrential rain. The Central Meteorological Observatory predicts continuous rainfall in these regions until Tuesday.

A Level 4 emergency response for flooding remains in effect in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and Fujian province. Two working groups dispatched by the headquarters are guiding flood control and disaster relief efforts.

Authorities have urged all regions to scientifically manage flood control projects, strengthen inspections and defenses on reservoirs and dikes, and effectively carry out flood control and rescue work.

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