Heavy Rain, Floods Wreck Southern and Eastern China

Heavy Rain, Floods Wreck Southern and Eastern China
Photo Credit:Reuters/ 達志影像
What you need to know

As of Sunday, large-scale floods have affected more than 30 million people, displaced almost 1.5 million, claimed 186 lives, and destroyed 56,000 houses.

Since June 30 torrential rains have hit several parts of China, including the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and southern and eastern parts of the country. This has caused large-scale floods that have affected more than 30 million people, displaced almost 1.5 million, claimed 186 lives, and destroyed 56,000 houses as of July 3.

The floods have so far caused economic losses estimated at 50.6 billion yuan (US$7.6 billion), which is 51% higher than average losses in the past 15 rain seasons.

At least 26 provinces and 1,192 counties in China have been affected by the rain and nearly 3,000 hectares of farmland have been flooded.

China’s National Headquarters on Inspection of Flood Control and Drought Relief and local government administrations have mobilized all available resources and personnel to conduct rescue missions and prepare for future downpours.

Chang Tao (張濤), chief forecaster at China’s National Meteorological Center, says that monsoons from the Bay of Bengal and South China Sea have blown through the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River as a cold air mass from the north moves south, creating a convergence of hot and cold air masses around the areas. This has resulted in heavier and steadier rain.

The continuing downpours have also cut off many of China’s main railroads and highways, leading to traffic inconvenience for the public.

Service on the Beijing–Kowloon, Chengdu–Chongqing and Sichuan–Guizhou railways was temporarily suspended due to safety concerns, causing multiple delays and cancellations. Most train stations have already taken anti-flood measures against further damage.

Many highways in Jiangsu, Jiangxi, and Anhui province have collapsed due to floods or been ripped apart by landslides. Some of the roads will be repaired and reopened as soon as July 5, but those badly damaged will remain closed until they are fully fixed, according to local news reports.

Nepartak, the first typhoon of 2016, also formed east of the Philippines on July 3. Local media project that the typhoon will bring torrential rain once again to eastern and southeastern China, including northern Fujian, Zhejiang, and Shanghai around July 7- 8.

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole