Flooded Guangdong acts swiftly

2024-04-22 08:27:33China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Relevant departments in Guangdong province are making all-out efforts to combat severe flooding, with their top priority being safeguarding people's lives and property, as torrential rainfall over the past few days left several areas inundated and meteorologists warned of further devastation due to rising water levels in arterial rivers.

Calling the situation "grim", local weather officials said that sections of the Beijiang and Xijiang rivers are hitting water levels in a rare spike that has just a one-in-50 chance of happening in any given year, state broadcaster China Central Television reported on Sunday.

The southern province started a Level II emergency response for flood control on Saturday night, when water in the Pearl River tributaries including the Beijiang reportedly rose up to 5.58 meters above their warning levels due to continuous downpours, according to a statement on Sunday by the Guangdong Department of Water Resources.

China has a four-tier flood-control emergency response system, with Level I being the most severe.

Wu Xiaolong, director of the Pearl River Water Resources Commission, said this round of heavy downpours is characterized by high intensity, a wide impact area, concentrated rainstorm areas and the rapid rise of water levels in the Beijiang and other rivers, resulting in a situation that demands measures for severe flood control.

With heavy downpours forecast in the central and eastern parts of the Pearl River basin, the Beijiang River water level is expected to rise further, so the Pearl River commission will continue to guide local authorities to prepare for floodwater storage and discharge on Monday and Tuesday.

A 12-hour stretch of heavy rain, starting from 8 pm on Saturday, battered the central and northern parts of the province, including the cities of Zhaoqing, Shaoguan, Qingyuan and Jiangmen, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The Guangdong Department of Emergency Management has urged relevant departments to launch special emergency response measures for timely distribution of disaster relief funds and daily necessities to people affected by the flooding.

Located in northern Guangdong, Shaoguan and Qingyuan have been the hardest hit, with many highways, streets, houses and farmland flooded or damaged over the weekend. In Shaoguan's Jiangwan township, landslides reportedly buried some houses.

A total of 14,779 residents from 4,502 households in Yangshan county and another 19,349 people in Yingde were evacuated to safety on Saturday and Sunday. Both areas are administered by Qingyuan.

All kindergartens, primary schools and middle schools in Qingyuan's Qingcheng district, the city of Yingde and Fogang county have been advised to suspend classes on Monday.

In Zhaoqing, the organizing committee had to terminate an ongoing cross-country race on Saturday. The event, which began at 7 am, was called off at noon following heavy downpours and a flooding alert. All 1,250 participants were evacuated to safety by 5 pm, according to the organizing committee.

Affected by heavy rainfall, Zhongshan in Guangdong also terminated an ongoing marathon on Sunday, while Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, called off a half marathon for women.

In the provincial capital Guangzhou and the industrial hub Shenzhen, downpours led to large-scale flight cancellations and delays over the weekend, stranding many passengers at airports.

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