Feedback | Thursday, July 25, 2024

Xi flags ‘severe’ task of flood control as rains lash China

China’s task of flood control has grown “severe”, President Xi Jinping warned on Tuesday, as heavier-than-usual rainfall pounded provinces from the interior to the eastern coast at the beginning of the annual flood season.

Torrential rain and landslides have killed nine people, with 17 missing, authorities said, following days of heavy rain in the provinces of Jiangxi and Guizhou, the coastal provinces of Guangdong and Fujian, and the Guangxi region.

Xi called for all-out efforts to fight floods in the south, urging every possible attempt to rescue those lost and trapped, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Flash floods engulfed a car in the far western region of Xinjiang on Tuesday, and four people are missing, state media said.

In the mountainous area of Changji in Xinjiang’s northwest, emergency officials said heavy rainfall brought flash floods and mudslides that blocked roads in one town.

Deaths during China’s annual summer floods have fallen sharply from the thousands each year in the 1990s, as authorities beefed up flood control measures, such as dam construction.

Yet extreme weather in recent years, including record-breaking rainfall, has made China vulnerable to intense flooding and disasters such as sudden mudslides, often in its mountainous but populated areas.

On Tuesday, officials in southern Guangxi upgraded a flood warning advisory, state broadcaster CCTV said, adding that about 23,600 people were affected in 10 counties.

Flash flood warnings were also issued in the provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangxi, where heavy rain fell for two days, state media said.

Weather forecasters expect more heavy rain in Guangxi region, and the provinces of Jiangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang, and Anhui, which could lead to more landslides and flooding.

The waters in many rivers have exceeded warning levels, official media said.

(Reuters)

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