China launches level IV emergency response to severe floods in Shanxi, Shaanxi provinces
Published: Oct 09, 2021 07:01 PM
Shanxi floods Photo:VCG


China on Saturday launched a level VI emergency response as North China's Shanxi Province suffers through its the worst flooding in decades, with over 50,000 residents relocated, 166 tourist attractions closed and the operation of 60 coal mines suspended. 

Pulling children out of raging water, carrying residents on their back, firefighters in Shanxi have managed to save and evacuate 920 people as heavy rainfall hit the province, causing major flooding over the past week.

On Saturday, China's Ministry of Emergency Management launched a level IV emergency response to flooding in Shanxi and neighboring Shaanxi Province, and sent in work teams to disaster-hit areas.

Multiple cities in Shanxi suffered heavy rain of 100-250 mm over the past 10 days and the rain in some areas during the last week was as much as that normally in whole October, data by National Meteorological Center showed.

Affected by continuous rainfall starting October 3 and a deluge of water from upstream areas, the lower Fenhe River experienced its largest flood peak in the past 40 years.

At about 7:40 am on Saturday, water flow of the Hejin section of the lower reaches of the Fenhe River surged to 985 cubic meters per second, the biggest flood since 1954 according to the local hydrometric station.

Along the Fenhe River, Taiyuan, Yangquan, Linfen, Yuncheng, Jinzhong, Luliang and other cities have experienced serious flooding.

In order to ensure the preservation of lives and property, the local government decided to use the Yellow River beach near a village in Hejin city to store and divert flood water, so that the water directly flows west into the Yellow River, easing the local flood control pressure. 

Affected by the flood, coal mines in Shanxi temporarily halted production, leading some observers to question the potential impact of power generation over coming weeks and months. 

Dong Dengxin, an economist, was quoted by Jimu News that the impact of the Shanxi floods on crops may be significant, but there is no need to worry too much about the impact on the coal industry.

"Shanxi, as a major coal-producing province, is very important to the country's coal supply," Dong said. Dong noted that the disaster will have a short-term impact on the country's coal supply and power supply. But he is confident that Shanxi's coal production will resume operations quickly after rescue and flood containment measures had been completed.

Global Times