Xi urges all-out efforts to fight floods, droughts
Meizhou in Guangdong works at full capacity following flooding
Published: Jun 18, 2024 10:44 PM
Meizhou in South China's Guangdong Province suffers severe flooding on June 18, 2024. Photo: VCG

Meizhou in South China's Guangdong Province suffers severe flooding on June 18, 2024. Photo: VCG

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged all-out efforts to fight floods and droughts and ensure solid work in disaster relief to safeguard people's lives and property as well as social stability, Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday. 

Chinese authorities have been working at full capacity to combat floods in part of the southern regions and drought in the northern regions. The measures include allocating central disaster relief supplies and increasing funds for agricultural disaster prevention.

Meizhou in South China's Guangdong Province has experienced heavy rainstorms since Sunday, with some areas experiencing severe flooding, leading to people being trapped, houses collapsing, roads being washed away, and disruptions in power and communication. The city has been working to rescue those in danger and minimize the damage caused by the disaster, local authorities stated on Tuesday.

Water levels measured from the main streams of Meijiang and Hanjiang rivers are slowly receding. Local Meizhou authorities lowered the flood control emergency response from level I to level II as of 11 am on Tuesday.

Local officials and emergency response personnel went door-to-door to notify residents to evacuate in a timely manner. Meanwhile, rescuers shuttled between residential buildings, evacuating trapped residents to relocation areas.

As of 11 am on Tuesday, the heavy rain in Meizhou had affected more than 164,000 people. By 10 pm on Monday, a total of 56,867 people in Meizhou had been relocated, according to media reports. By Monday, flash floods and landslides in Meizhou had resulted in five deaths and 15 people have gone missing, according to local authorities.

In Pingyuan county, one of the most-affected counties of Meizhou, there are a total of 381 damaged sections of road. The local power grid has deployed 18 generators, four power vehicles, and 118 emergency lights to provide temporary power supply to affected areas. As of 6 am on Tuesday, power has been restored to 23,605 households in Pingyuan county, with nearly half of the affected households having electricity restored, authorities confirmed.

While the waters are receding and residents in some areas are recovering from the disaster, four townships in the northeastern region of Pingyuan county, including Sishui, are among the hardest hit. In some villages, mobile communications and electricity are still to be restored, leaving residents to rely on satellite communications, a working staff from the Pingyuan county government told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Roads in these towns are also impassable and are still being repaired. Provincial emergency management authorities have dispatched helicopters to deliver essential supplies and rescuers to the worst hit regions, while evacuating the injured or vulnerable. 

The local police in Pingyuan on Monday morning conducted a successful rescue operation in Bailing village, using drones with thermal imaging equipment to locate and deliver supplies to three trapped residents, according to the local authorities.

Ma Ping, a local official from Bailing village, died in a landslide while evacuating residents on Monday, according to media reports.

Some areas in Dongshi town of Pingyuan experienced communication disruptions due to heavy rains on Monday early morning, with signals restored by noon the same day. Despite a bridge being destroyed in the town, the local authorities are making efforts to ensure essential supplies for villagers, a local resident surnamed Liu told the Global Times on Tuesday.

A member from Blue Sky Rescue Team from Jiangdong new area in Heyuan of Guangdong told the Global Times on Tuesday that they were deployed to Dabu county on Monday with rescue equipment to help people who were trapped by flooding, prioritizing the evacuation of the elderly, children and pregnant women.