Heavy rains, floods in Western China leave at least 12 dead, 12 missing
Published: Jul 17, 2022 08:51 PM
Flood hits Beichuan county, SW China's Sichuan Province from July 15 to 16, 2022. Photo: IC

Flood hits Beichuan county, SW China's Sichuan Province from July 15 to 16, 2022. Photo: IC

Heavy rains and floods hit parts of Northwest China's Gansu Province and Southwest China's Sichuan Province over the weekend, leaving 12 people dead and 12 missing as of Sunday, causing severe damage to infrastructure and widespread disruption of power and communication, according to China Media Group (CMG).

From Friday night to the early morning of Saturday, heavy rainfall poured in Beichuan county in Sichuan, reaching a maximum rainfall level of 110 mm, which caused floods and damaged some residential buildings, while disrupting power and communication.

Additionally, Longnan in Gansu, which borders with Sichuan, also suffered heavy rainfall, with the maximum rainfall level reaching 98.9 mm, triggering sudden floods and mudslides, which resulted in the death of 6 people as of Sunday and in damage to crops, houses and infrastructure, CMG reported.

More than 40,000 people in the Sichuan and Gansu have been affected by the flood, with 1,323 people in Beichuan and 2,976 in Longnan being relocated, while rescue work is underway in an orderly manner, according to media reports, citing local emergency management authorities.

A Beichuan resident surnamed Zhang told the media that she and other affected local residents were placed in a local primary school, where food, shelter and other daily supplies were guaranteed.

"The water level started to rise after around 4 am," Zhang said, recalling that the whole street and some residential buildings were flooded in less than five minutes.

Many residents were on alert after receiving local government's flood warnings earlier, so they were easily woken up by local authorities when the water level rose and they were evacuated to safe areas, Zhang said, adding that there were still some residents trapped as they did not have enough time to react in the middle of the night.

Emergency management authorities in Sichuan and Gansu provinces immediately coordinated with water conservancy, transportation, police and other departments to carry out rescue operations, road repair work, and secondary disasters prevention, while some media reports said that all the affected people have been properly settled.

Meanwhile, other parts of the China are also expecting heavy rainfall in the coming days. The flood control headquarters of the Yangtze River and Chingjiang Water Resources Commission jointly launched a level-Ⅳemergency response for flood prevention at 4 pm on July 16, citing the meteorological and hydrological forecast and the current flood control situation in the basin.

According to the hydro-meteorological forecast, there will be two more rain falls within the Yangtze River basin in the coming week, and local torrential rain is likely to cause mudslides and floods.

Emergency management departments and local governments have been required to be on standby 24 hours a day to be able to promptly respond to emergencies, so as to ensure the safety of residents and property.

Global Times