Worst Flood Hits Huai River Region in 50 Years
The Huai River basin in Central China recently suffered the most severe flooding in more than 50 years. The number of victims is estimated at more than 17 million. Authorities have already opened sluice gates or breached dykes in seven districts in Anhui Province to divert the torrent, and 500,000 living in flood diversion districts have been evacuated.
Recently heavy rains have resulted in floods in the central and southern regions of China. By July 12, these natural calamities have killed 360 people, affecting over 66 million people and resulted in economic losses exceeding 24 billion yuan (US$3 billion).
Recently, continuous, heavy rains in Henan, Anhui, and Jiangsu Provinces have caused the water level in the Huai River to go up dramatically. The authorities have already opened sluice gates or breached dykes in at least seven flood buffer zones including Wangjiaba, Jiangtang lake etc to divert the raging flood waters.
Currently more than 500,000 people have been mobilized to patrol the river embankments the Huai River basin in Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu Provinces. In the afternoon of July 11, the authorities declared Anhui Province to be in a Category-One state of emergency.
On July 12, water levels at the Xuyi section of the Huai River in Jiangsu Province, located downstream of the Huai River, reached 51 feet, 5 feet over the dnager level, and are still rising. It is estimated that the peak of the floodwaters from the Huai River will reach Jiangsu Province between July 13 and 14.
Water levels of the Hongze Lake in Jiangsu Province have reached 42 feet, 1.5 feet over the warning level and are still increasing.
The three provinces along the Huai River, Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu, have lost over 4.3 million acres of farmland and over 30 thousand houses as a result of the flood. The direct economic loss is almost US$1 billion.