Heat Wave’s Wake: Severe Flooding in Southern China
[ Video Courtesy of NTDTV ]
The dissipation of the heat wave in Southern China saw the area hit by another plight: torrential rains that have caused severe flooding. The region has been beset by rain the past few days: the water levels of some rivers have exceeded the warning mark, while some areas have incurred extensive flood damage, as reported by China News Service on July 10.
The floods have affected ten southern China provinces since July 8, including Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Chongqing City, with disruption of highway and local traffic impacting rescue efforts. State statistics report that as of the morning of July 11, 14,920,000 people have been victimized by the floods, with 39 deaths and 13 disappearances. Twenty thousand houses have collapsed. Direct economic loss has been estimated at 8.6 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion).
The Yangtze River experienced rising water levels above the warning mark on July 9, while on July 10, an official of the regime’s Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters warned citizens to be on full alert for severe floods along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangze River.
Chongqing: Water Nearly Ten Feet Deep
Chongqing has been hit with the heaviest rains since July 8 for this year. The rain has affected 14 counties and districts and 177 townships and villages, resulting in seven deaths and two disappearances, as of 3:00 p.m. on July 9. Wanzhou District, along the Three Gorges, was one of the hardest hit areas, experiencing flash floods, landslides, and the collapse of bridges. Water levels reached up to three meters deep (approximately 10 feet) in some villages. In Fenshui Township, about 70 percent of the ground floors of residential buildings were flooded, and water, gas, and electricity have been cut off.
Mr. Zheng, a resident of Fenshui Township, told Chongqing Economic Times that heavy rain hit at 2:45 a.m. on July 9. Water began to accumulate on the streets. Street-side stores and residential buildings were flooded. “Water, gas, and electricity were all cut off. There was so much water on the streets that one dared not to go out.” When the rain was at its hardest, he also said people even saw small cars floating away.
“In one supermarket, everything inside was flooded away, including merchandise and the shutter doors.”
Many highways have been cut off in Qinghai, Anhui and Hubei provinces. Land and air transportation was paralyzed in Chongqing City. Hundreds of flights were delayed, while traffic was seriously obstructed, due to many vehicles being trapped on flooded streets. As of July 10, all trains leaving or arriving in Chongqing had been cancelled until weather conditions improve.
The National Meteorological Center continued to issue orange rainstorm warnings, as of 6:00 p.m., July 10. Heavy rain is expected to persist through July 11, in some areas of Guizhou, Chongqing, Hunan, Hubei, Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang provinces.