Caixin
Jun 23, 2020 04:32 PM
SOCIETY & CULTURE

Worst Floods in Decades Hit Chongqing as Heavy Rain Soaks South China

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What’s new: Parts of the Chinese megacity of Chongqing have recorded their worst floods in more than two decades, after heavy rain lashed southern parts of the country.

The city, whose built-up area sprawls along the banks of the Yangtze river and is home to 18 million people, saw water levels rise 5.1 meters (16.7 feet) above the flood line following intense upstream rainfall. Photographs taken at the scene showed submerged homes and businesses.

Authorities in Chongqing issued a red flood warning for parts of the city on Monday morning and encouraged residents to move away from affected areas. No deaths have so far been announced.

In some areas, the deluges are believed to be the most severe since at least 1998. That year, higher-than-average rainfall triggered inundations that officially killed 3,700 people and left some 15 million homeless across the country.

The background: Deadly floods have hit southern China this summer, with Guizhou and Guangdong provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region particularly affected.

The country’s water resources ministry earlier this month attributed the deluges to unusual rainfall patterns and said flooding was likely to persist through the coming weeks.

Dozens of people have died or gone missing and more than 5 million have been affected by flooding since the start of the rainy season, according to online disclosures by the Ministry of Emergency Management.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com) and editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

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