CHINA / SOCIETY
S.China's Pearl River Basin expected to suffer once-in-a-century flood; new alert issued as rain belt moves northward
Published: Jun 22, 2022 07:37 PM
Rescuers enter a village to evacuate stranded people in flood water in Dexing, east China's Jiangxi Province, June 20, 2022. East China's Jiangxi Province on Monday issued a red alert for floods, as local hydrological stations registered water in local rivers at warning levels. The heavy rain that lashed Jiangxi has brought the first floods this year in Changjiang River and Xiuhe River in the province, according to the provincial hydrological monitoring center.(Photo: Xinhua)

Rescuers enter a village to evacuate stranded people in flood water in Dexing, east China's Jiangxi Province, June 20, 2022. East China's Jiangxi Province on Monday issued a red alert for floods, as local hydrological stations registered water in local rivers at warning levels. The heavy rain that lashed Jiangxi has brought the first floods this year in Changjiang River and Xiuhe River in the province, according to the provincial hydrological monitoring center.(Photo: Xinhua)



Due to the continuous heavy rain, a hydrometric station of a main stream in Zhujiang (Pearl) River Basin, South China's Guangdong Province registered a flood flow that exceeded historic records on Wednesday, and is expected to have a peak discharge on Thursday, which will be a once-in- a-century flood.

According to the National Meteorological Center (NMC), the rain belt will be moving northward from Wednesday. From 2 pm on Wednesday to 2 pm on Thursday, some areas including those in North China's  Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Hebei Province, Northeast China's Jilin and Liaoning provinces, East China's Shandong, Anhui, Jiangsu, are expected to have heavy rain, said the NMC.

As the subtropical high intensifies and extends westward from Wednesday to Thursday, the weather in southern China will see a turning point, with continuous rain gradually replaced by sunny and hot weather, according to the NMC.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang presided over an executive meeting of the State Council on Wednesday where he made plans to continue flood control and disaster relief work and effectively protect people's lives and property.

The meeting called for the improvement of the joint early-warning and emergency response mechanisms and urged actions to strengthen flood prevention and preparation in northern China and make available emergency teams and supplies. Also, it said that relevant departments should strengthen guidance and support to local governments and timely allocate funds and materials.

For several days, continuous heavy rainfall has hit a large area in southern China.

From 12pm on Monday to 12 pm on Tuesday, 113 rivers in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Guangdong Province, Central China's Hunan Province, East China's Jiangxi, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces were flooded. Among them, seven rivers recorded the biggest floods on record, according to China's Ministry of Water Resources.

As of Tuesday 7 pm, the river water level of 53 hydrometric stations in Guangdong exceeded the alarm line, and the flood control conditions are very serious. The provincial flood control headquarters upgraded their emergency response to the top level on Tuesday at 7 pm.

The river flow at Shijiao hydrometric station of the Beijiang stream in the Pearl River Basin was 18,500 cubic meters per second (m³/s) at 12 pm on Wednesday, exceeding its historical maximum.

Shijiao station is expected to have a peak discharge of 20,000 (m³/s) on Thursday, which is the largest flood in the lower reaches of the Beijiang trunk stream since flood data records began.

Guangdong’s Qingyuan city, Yingde city and Yangshan county have issued notices that classes in elementary schools and kindergartens will be suspended from June 22.

Qingyuan city, Yingde city and Yangshan county in Guangdong have issued notices that classes in elementary schools and kindergartens would be closed from Wednesday. 

As the Yingde section of the Beijiang river reached a peak water level of 36.10 meters around 12 pm on Wednesday, the embankment of the Beijiang river is facing the risk of overflowing. A large rescue team of police officers, militia, Party members and volunteers placed sandbags against the river banks as a flood prevention measure, and as of 9 am on Wednesday, a dike more than a kilometer long was cast between the people and the flood, the Global Times learned from the local volunteers on Wednesday.

Photo taken on June 13, 2022 shows water gushing out from a gate of the Shuikou Hydropower Station in southeast China's Fujian Province. China's Ministry of Water Resources initiated a level-IV emergency response for flood control on June 12 as heavy rain is expected to sweep the country's southern areas in the coming days.(Photo: Xinhua)

Photo taken on June 13, 2022 shows water gushing out from a gate of the Shuikou Hydropower Station in southeast China's Fujian Province. China's Ministry of Water Resources initiated a level-IV emergency response for flood control on June 12 as heavy rain is expected to sweep the country's southern areas in the coming days.(Photo: Xinhua)


Many parts of South China's Guangdong Province have been hit by natural disasters such as torrential rain, floods and landslides. A total of 479,600 people in Shaoguan, Heyuan, Meizhou, Zhaoqing and Qingyuan were affected by the floods as of Monday, with 27.13 hectares (271,300 m³) of crops affected, 1,729 houses collapsed and a direct economic loss of 1.756 billion yuan ($261,480,692).

Additionally, Jiangxi issued three times red (top level) alerts for floods on Tuesday due to heavy rainfall. Shangrao and other cities in the province that were hit hard by the flood immediately started following their emergency plans and kicked off flood control work.

More than 6,000 rescuers have been mobilized in Dexing city, which is in the charge of Shangrao, and more than 27,000 people have been evacuated in recent days, a Shangrao-based local official told the Global Times on Wednesday. Also, Wuyuan county in Shangrao has arranged 365 batches of 7,100 Party members to participate in flood control and disaster relief work. 

In view of the improved flood situation, Jiangxi decided to downgrade the emergency response for flood control to level III from 10 am on Wednesday.