Flood wreaks havoc in NE China

2023-08-07 09:59:14China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

An aerial view of the inundated Qili, a town in Shulan, Jilin province, on Saturday. Severe flooding brought by heavy rainfall has inflicted huge losses on the city. (Photo by Wang Qiang/For China Daily)

In hard-hit Shulan, 9 killed, including city's vice-mayor

After wreaking havoc in parts of Hebei province and Beijing, remnants of Typhoon Doksuri continued on their path, causing damage and endangering lives in the country's northeastern region over the past few days.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Water Resources updated the flood response level in north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region and northeast China's Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.

The emergency response was raised to Level 3 of China's four-tier flood-control emergency response system as heavy rainfall since last Wednesday has triggered excessive flooding in areas.

Shulan, a city in Jilin province, is one of the hardest-hit places in Northeast China. As of Sunday, nine people had been killed and one remained missing there — Shulan's vice-mayor Luo Xudong is among the dead.

Continuous heavy rainfall began in the city the night of Aug 1, and as of 3 pm Friday the precipitation had reached 111.7 millimeters. The rain has caused floods, bridge collapses and road damage.

Jin Wenhua, a woman in her 60s in Shulan's town of Jinma, said she had never in her life seen such heavy rains and that it was very distressing. She and her husband are now at a temporary relocation site.

Liu Mengda, deputy head of Jinma, and who is in charge of two temporary sites for relocated villagers, said they started moving villagers at 11 pm Friday and by 3 am Saturday, 214 had been safely relocated.

"We've prepared drinking water, food, basic supplies and medical supplies to meet their needs," he said. "I have seven colleagues with me who can sleep two or three hours these days. I haven't slept well for three days."

Firefighters from Yanshou county, Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province, help some stranded people to relocate to a safe spot on Saturday. (Photo by Xiao Jinbiao/For China Daily)

By Saturday, 18,916 people had been evacuated in Shulan, and 21 temporary relocation facilities were established. Rescue forces have restored the service of 85 electricity and 26 telecommunication facilities in the city.

To better aid the areas, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Emergency Management allocated an additional funding of 350 million yuan ($48.8 million) on Saturday to local authorities of Beijing, Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Heilongjiang and Jilin. Previously, the central government had allocated 170 million yuan for these places.

The funds are being used for emergency relief, relocating residents, disaster inspection and restoration of collapsed and damaged houses, according to the ministries.

The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters and the emergency management ministry have conducted teleconferences with Tianjin, Jilin, Heilongjiang and Hebei to arrange the anti-flood and emergency relief work since Saturday.

These areas have been urged to coordinate relief forces to rescue people trapped or missing in order to minimize the casualties. They have been required to restore communications and electricity facilities to secure the rescue operation.

Local authorities have been urged to closely monitor the rain and water situations, to scientifically use flood-control projects and prevent emergencies at embankments and reservoirs.

On Friday night, the headquarters, together with the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration allocated emergency supplies worth 7.14 million yuan. It has also dispatched 10 teams to flooded areas to help them deal with the emergencies.

On Saturday, the declared flooding emergency remained at Level 2 of the four-level system in Tianjin and Hebei, and level 3 in Beijing, Jilin and Heilongjiang.

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