Hundreds of thousands evacuated in China after heaviest rainfall in decades

Hundreds of thousands evacuated in China after heaviest rainfall in decades

Hundreds of thousands evacuated in China after heaviest rainfall in decades

The heaviest rainfall in decades has led to flooding and landslides in southern China, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to be evacuated, state media reported.

The downpours in recent days have dangerously swelled waterways in the low-lying Pearl River basin, threatening manufacturing, shipping and logistics operations at a time when supply chains are already under strain from the strict Covid-19 regime. controls from China.

Average rainfall in Guangdong, Fujian and Guangxi provinces reached 621 millimeters (24 in) between early May and mid-June, the highest since 1961, according to China’s National Meteorological Center.

Parts of southern China hit by the heaviest rain in decades Parts of southern China hit by the heaviest rain in decades Photo: CNS via AFP

State media photos showed people huddled on camp beds in schools converted into temporary shelters in Guangdong’s Shaoguan city, and hundreds of tents erected on a sports field.

In the neighboring region of Guangxi, muddy water was seen flooding urban areas and rescuers were seen evacuating villagers on dinghies, according to state media images.

Guangdong authorities said on Monday that more than 200,000 people have been evacuated in the course of the disaster and damage is estimated so far at 1.7 billion yuan ($254 million).

The evacuees were among nearly 480,000 people affected by the rain and flooding, officials said.

Floods have forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people in southern China Floods have forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people in southern China Photo: CNS via AFP

Shaoguan issued a red flood warning — the most serious — on Tuesday morning after several rural provinces and the major city of Foshan upgraded their flood warnings in recent days.

Guangxi was hit by the worst flooding since 2005, local media reported.

Meteorological authorities said on Monday 28 of Guangxi’s rivers had exceeded warning levels and rain continued on Tuesday.

Jiangxi Province issued a red alert for flooding on Monday.

And in Fujian, more than 220,000 people have been evacuated because of flooding since early this month, China’s official Xinhua news agency said Monday.

Earlier this month, at least 21 people died after flooding caused by torrential rains in central China’s Hubei province.

Catastrophic flooding in central China’s Henan province killed 398 people last summer and caused economic losses of more than $10 billion.