Hefei Inundated by Floodwater: The ‘Sponge City’ Is Now an ‘Ocean City’

July 1, 2020 Updated: July 23, 2020

In southern China, disastrous floods continue to affect tens of millions of people. Hefei, one of the cities spearheading the so-called “sponge city” project—designed to have cities soak up water and release it later—has become an “ocean city” during the flood. Starting in 2016, Hefei city planned to create a “sponge city” area measuring 2,661 square kilometers. The China Meteorological Administration has been issuing yellow warnings for heavy rain. On June 27, the Ministry of Water Resources of the PRC claimed that floods above the alarm level occurred in 13 rivers in Sichuan, Chongqing, and Guangxi provinces. After five rounds of torrential rain in southern China, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping, admitted for the first time that the regional flood situation was serious. On the 28th, Xi Jinping issued flood control instructions.