Massive river flooding expected in China’s Guangdong, threatening millions

NEW DELHI: Severe flooding threats loom over China’s Guangdong province as major rivers and waterways reach alarming levels, prompting the government to implement emergency measures to safeguard the lives of over 127 million residents. Local weather authorities have described the situation as dire, noting that certain sections of rivers and tributaries in the Xijiang and Beijiang river basins are experiencing rare water level spikes with a one-in-50-year likelihood, as reported by state broadcaster CCTV news on Sunday.The Ministry of Water Resources in China issued an emergency advisory in response to the escalating situation.
Guangdong officials have called for urgent action across all localities and municipalities to prepare for potential natural disasters, ensuring prompt distribution of relief funds and resources to provide essential provisions such as food, clothing, water, and shelter to those affected. The province, known for its significant economic activities and trade, has been battered by heavy rainfall and strong winds for several days, impacting various parts of China. A continuous downpour lasting 12 hours from Saturday night onwards has particularly affected central and northern areas of Guangdong, including cities like Zhaoqing, Shaoguan, Qingyuan, and Jiangmen, leading to rescue operations being launched in these regions.
The ongoing adverse weather conditions have resulted in the evacuation of over 45,000 individuals in Qingyuan, with reports of damaged power facilities in Zhaoqing causing power outages in certain areas. State-backed media revealed that approximately 1.16 million households in Guangdong have lost electricity due to the torrential rains. As a result, 1,103 schools in Zhaoqing, Shaoguan, and Qingyuan have decided to suspend classes on Monday to ensure the safety of students and staff.
Residents have taken to social media platforms like Weibo to share their experiences, with one user highlighting the challenges faced by communities in Huaiji county, which has been inundated with floodwaters. Videos circulating online depict the impact of the heavy rainfall, including vehicles being swept away in Zhaoqing and rescuers assisting individuals stranded in floodwaters. Authorities in Qingyuan and Shaoguan have restricted ship movements on several rivers, deploying emergency response teams to manage the situation.
Hydrological stations throughout Guangdong are witnessing rising water levels, with Guangzhou, the provincial capital with a population of 18 million, announcing that reservoirs have reached flood capacity. Similarly, neighboring Guangxi has been hit by violent winds, causing destruction and flooding in various areas. Weather forecasts predict continued heavy rainfall in Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, and Zhejiang provinces until Monday, raising concerns about the potential impact of the ongoing extreme weather conditions.
(With inputs from agencies)


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