Tags: china | flooding

Massive River Flooding Expected in China's Guangdong, Threatening Millions

Massive River Flooding Expected in China's Guangdong, Threatening Millions
 People walk on a waterlogged road in rain on April 20, 2024 in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province of China. Guangdong is under the grip of severe weather as a squall line brings torrential rains across the region, with forecasts predicting extreme conditions to persist over the next two days, 21st and 22nd April. (Photo by Chen Jimin/China News Service/VCG via AP )

Sunday, 21 April 2024 07:18 AM EDT

Major rivers, waterways and reservoirs in China's Guangdong province are threatening to unleash dangerous floods, forcing the government on Sunday to enact emergency response plans to protect more than 127 million people.

Calling the situation "grim," local weather officials said sections of rivers and tributaries at the Xijiang and Beijiang river basins are hitting water levels in a rare spike that only has a one-in-50 chance of happening in any given year, state broadcaster CCTV news said on Sunday.

China's water resource ministry issued an emergency advisory, CCTV reported.

Guangdong officials urged departments in all localities and municipalities to begin emergency planning to avert natural disasters and promptly disperse disaster relief funds and materials to ensure affected people have food, clothing, water and a place to live.

The province, a major exporter and one of China's main commercial and trading centers, has seen torrid downpours for several days and strong winds due to severe convective weather, which has also affected other parts of China.

A 12-hour stretch of heavy rain, starting from 8 p.m. (1200 GMT) Saturday, battered the central and northern parts of the province in the cities of Zhaoqing, Shaoguan, Qingyuan and Jiangmen.

Almost 20,000 people have been evacuated in Qingyuan, according to state media, and some power facilities in Zhaoqing were damaged, cutting power to some places.

About 1,103 schools in Zhaoqing, Shaoguan and Qingyuan will suspend classes on Monday, Chinese state radio said.

"Please look at Zhaoqing's Huaiji county, which has become a water town. The elderly and children at the countryside don't know what to do with power outages and no signal," said one user on the popular social media site Weibo.

Raging muddy flood waters swept one vehicle down a narrow street in Zhaoqing, showed a video released by Hongxing News.

"It rained like a waterfall for an hour and a half on the highway driving home last night," said another Weibo user. "I couldn't see the road at all."

Authorities in Qingyuan and Shaoguan also suspended ships from traveling through several rivers, with maritime departments dispatching forces to be on duty, and coordinate emergency tugboats and emergency rescue vessels.

Many hydrological stations in the province are exceeding water levels, weather officials warned, and in the provincial capital Guangzhou, a city of 18 million, reservoirs have reached flood limits, city officials announced on Sunday.

Data showed 2,609 hydrological stations with daily rainfall greater than 50 mm (1.97 inches), accounting for about 59% of all observation stations. At 8 a.m. Sunday, 27 hydrological stations in Guangdong were on alert.

In neighboring Guangxi, west of Guangdong, violent hurricane-like winds whipped the region, destroying buildings state media video footage showed. Some places have also experienced hailstones and major flooding, CCTV said.

In another video, rescuers could be seen trying to save an elderly person clinging to a tree half-submerged in flood waters.

As of 10:00 a.m. (0200 GMT), 65 landslides were recorded in the city of Hezhou located in Guangxi, state media reported.

Weather forecasters are expecting heavy rain through Monday in Guangxi region, Guangdong, Fujian and Zhejiang provinces.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


GlobalTalk
Major rivers, waterways and reservoirs in China's Guangdong province are threatening to unleash dangerous floods, forcing the government on Sunday to enact emergency response plans to protect more than 127 million people. Calling the situation "grim," local weather...
china, flooding
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2024-18-21
Sunday, 21 April 2024 07:18 AM
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