After weeks of pounding rain, two provinces in south China increased flood warnings on Tuesday as rivers spilled their banks and floods reached record levels, driving people from their homes and interrupting business, according to official media.
Shaoguan city in Guangdong province, whose average rainfall has shattered records since late May, has upped its flood warning to Level 1.
After floods reached a 50-year high, authorities advised inhabitants of villages near river banks and in low-lying neighborhoods to relocate to higher ground, according to state television.
According to the city’s flood, drought, and wind control headquarters, construction sites, companies, public transportation, and docks may be closed, but employees who are unable to go to work should not be compelled to do so.
The water level in Guangdong’s Beijiang River also climbed beyond alert limits, breaking a record set in 1994.
As the floods increased, Guangdong’s Qingyuan city, near Shaoguan, lifted its flood warning to the maximum level about midday.
Authorities in Jiangxi province to the northeast issued a flood “red alert” after 485,000 people in nine districts were impacted, according to the Xinhua news agency. It didn’t go into detail.
According to Xinhua, economic losses were 470 million yuan ($70.21 million), with 43,300 hectares of crops lost.
Summer rains cause floods in China practically every year, but environmentalists predict climate change will cause bigger and more frequent downpours.
There is also a possibility that the disruption caused by floods in China would be felt farther afield, as Chinese commodities grow increasingly vital in global supply networks.
This spate of heavy rain throughout the southern provinces was predicted to climax on Tuesday and then migrate northward beginning Wednesday.
The last weekend saw an increase in power use in areas north of the Yangtze River due to the extreme heat. more info
The Central Meteorological Observatory of China issued a “orange warning” for high temperatures in northern regions such as central and southern Hebei, most of Beijing, and portions of Shandong, Tianjin, and Henan.