Charts of the Day: Devastating Floods Leave 119 Dead or Missing Across China
Devastating floods hit 26 provincial regions in China, leaving at least 119 dead or missing, according to the latest statistics (link in Chinese) released Monday by China’s Ministry of Emergency Management.
Government bodies have received 17 million calls for help from affected residents as the worst flooding in decades has submerged roads and fields, destroyed crops, cut off electricity and interrupted traffic. More than 15,000 houses have been destroyed, the ministry said. The disaster has caused 39.3 billion yuan ($5.6 billion) in direct economic losses.
The Chinese government has earmarked 150 million yuan to aid flood relief work in three of the hardest-hit provinces: Sichuan, Guizhou and Hunan. A total of 632 rescue teams and more than 13,000 people had been dispatched to the frontlines as of Friday.
The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters has upgraded the national emergency response level for flooding from level four to level three on Tuesday, dispatching nine more task forces to help locals weather the storm.
On June 29, the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s biggest hydropower plant in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, opened its sluice gates for the first time this year in order to bring down water levels in its swollen reservoir. The first flooding of the river this year occurred Thursday.
In June, nearly 60% of the counties in southern China have been hit by rainstorms, eight of which have seen their daily rainfall records broken.
China’s Ministry of Water Resources has also warned that parts of northern China are also at risk of downpours and flooding because the rain band will begin heading north this month.
“According to the meteorological department’s forecasts and analyses, there will be greater precipitation in southern and northern China from July to August. Some areas in the south and the north will see frequent showers. But the rain band in the north will gain the upper hand,” the ministry said Friday.
Contact editor Lu Zhenhua (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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