It appears like a doomsday scenario in parts of China as torrential rain, flooding, and typhoon disrupt daily lives in multiple provinces across the country. Persistent flooding has caused 63 deaths and affected millions of people in the Henan province alone, reports Xinhua news agency.
Now, forecasts suggest a fresh spell of heavy rain could lash the flood-ravaged province of Henan from Monday to Thursday. The cities of Xinyang, Zhumadian, Zhoukou, Shangqiu, Kaifeng, Puyang, Xinxiang, Hebi and Anyang are likely to witness heavy downpours, intensifying the local flood control situation, said the Henan provincial meteorological observatory.
From July 17 to 25, a total of 132 townships in Xinxiang have been ravaged by rainstorms, affecting more than 2 million people, according to the Xinxiang subsidiary of the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters. By Sunday afternoon, seven flood storage and detention basins in Henan have been put into operation to divert and hold 553 million cubic meters of floodwater.
Typhoon In-Fa makes second landfall
According to local authorities, Typhoon In-Fa made landfall in China’s Zhejiang province on Sunday, packing winds of up to 38 metres per second at its centre. The typhoon, sixth of this year, made landfall in Putuo district, Zhoushan city, at approximately 12.30 p.m., Xinhua news agency quoted the authorities as saying.
On Monday, typhoon In-Fa made a second landfall in the coastal waters near Pinghu, a county-level city under the administration of Jiaxing City, east China’s Zhejiang Province, at around 9:50 am. According to the provincial flood control headquarters, China’s eastern coast has been put on the highest alert as the second landfall brought downpours to surrounding regions, packing winds of up to 28 meters per second at its centre.
All high-speed trains passing through the cities of Shanghai, Hangzhou and Ningbo have halted service. As of 9:30 a.m. on Monday, nine major flood monitoring stations in Jiaxing exceeded the warning water level, of which eight exceeded the guaranteed water level, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Typhoon In-Fa has affected over 114,000 people in Jiaxing and damaged more than 267 hectares of crops and 1.33 hectares of aquafarms, causing direct economic losses of over 4.67 million yuan (about $721,000). Over 155,000 people have been evacuated to safety.
Chinese authorities have launched a level-IV emergency response for disaster relief as typhoon In-Fa hit the coastal province of Zhejiang. The response was co-activated by China National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) for disaster-stricken areas including Zhoushan, Shaoxing and Ningbo, Xinhua news agency reported.
Flood continues to affect millions
Last week, the flooding in China’s Henan province was brought on by incredible rainfall totals. In 72 hours, Zhengzhou received about 31 inches (nearly 800 mm) of rain, which is more than the city’s yearly rainfall average. The Zhengzhou weather bureau said the three days of rain was at a level seen “once in a thousand years“.
According to the local government, the death toll in China’s rain-ravaged Henan province has increased to 63 as record downpours wreaked havoc. More than 9.3 million people across the province have been affected, and over 1.1 million residents were forced to relocate to safer places, reports Xinhua news agency.
Over the weekend, torrential rains continued to lash areas in the cities of Luoyang, Pingdingshan, Shangqiu, Kaifeng and Hebi. Local rivers, including Dasha and Anyang, were swollen due to continual rainfall, and 13 large and 44 medium-sized reservoirs in the province saw water levels exceed flood season marks.
Nearly 70,000 people from 146 villages in Luonan county in China’s Shaanxi province have also been affected by floods triggered by torrential rain, authorities said. According to the county authorities, heavy rainfall battered Luonan on July 22-23, causing direct economic losses of more than 900 million yuan ($139 million).
The natural disaster has led to the evacuation of 58,345 people, the Xinhua news agency quoted the authorities as saying. Monitoring data shows that improved weather has seen water levels in 23 reservoirs in Luonan county drop below their flood season marks. Rescue work is still underway.
(With inputs from IANS)
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