Crisis in Southern China: Deadly Floods Strike as Rains Persist

Crisis in Southern China Deadly Floods Strike as Rains Persist

Deadly monsoon rains that are triggering flash flooding and mudslides have forced tens of thousands of people to flee southern China, and many more may be in danger.

Since June 9, at least 55 people have lost their lives, according to a Friday report from Chinese state media that included stunning imagery of buildings that seemed to be sinking and urban areas covered in water while emergency responders in speedboats sped to save stranded citizens.

In the midst of reports of record flooding along the banks of the Songyuan and Shiku rivers, the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV announced on Friday that at least 47 people have perished in the city of Meizhou in the Guangdong province, one of the hardest impacted areas.

Authorities in Meizhou raised the flood control emergency response to Level-I earlier this week, resulting in the evacuation of over 10,000 residents and the loss of up to 130,000 electricity, according to official media. There are four stages in China’s emergency response system for flood control, with Level I being the most serious.

According to CCTV, of those, 38 were reported dead in the city’s Pingyuan county, while two were reported missing. The torrential rains also affected over 55,000 people, with an estimated 5.8 billion yuan ($799 million) in direct economic losses.

According to state media, there have been at least eight deaths in the neighboring southern province of Fujian; four of the deaths occurred in Wuping county, and the remaining deaths occurred in Shanghang county. The severe rainfall has affected an estimated 586,500 people in 40 counties.

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Additionally, 48 rivers in Guangxi, a neighboring southern region to the west, were reportedly running above flood alert levels, prompting officials to implement a Level-II emergency response, according to state media.

More than 6,000 people had to be evacuated when the Lijiang River, a well-known and visited tourist destination that passes through Guilin, saw its worst flooding since 1998, according to official media on Thursday.

The emergency response to the flooding coincides with Xi Jinping, the leader of China, calling on all efforts to protect people and property on Tuesday. China is currently experiencing extreme weather, with record temperatures in the north and torrential rains in the south.

Every year, longer and more intense heat waves and droughts affect other parts of China as well, leading to massive power outages and sabotaging the supply lines for food and industry.


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