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Record floods threaten southern China

Southern China has been ravaged by heavy rainfall in recent weeks, causing flooding in many areas, including Shaoguan city

Southern China has been ravaged by heavy rainfall in recent weeks, causing flooding in many areas, including Shaoguan city.

Record flooding was expected in parts of southern China on Thursday, as torrential rains pushed water levels in the Pearl River delta to its highest level in nearly a century.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from the hardest-hit parts of the region, including Guangdong Province, a manufacturing and logistics hub serving China’s tech capital, Shenzhen.

China’s Ministry of Water Resources posted its highest flood alert on the Pearl River basin on Wednesday, saying water levels in one location “surpassed historical records” and the provincial capital, Guangzhou, would be hit.

Footage from the town of Shaoguan, north of Guangzhou, shows residents making their way through flooded major roads on Wednesday, as water reached the tops of cars in some areas.

The muddy floodwaters flooded shops and buildings and people were seen clearing the rubble.

The low-lying Pearl River delta is home to the economic powerhouses of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, as well as several smaller but densely populated cities with major manufacturing and other industries.

Provincial disaster relief authorities said earlier this week that direct economic losses were estimated at 1.7 billion yuan ($253 million).

Below the highest alert level, high-risk areas in Guangdong have been ordered to take all necessary measures, including suspending work in factories and closing schools to minimize damage.

Other regions in southern China, including the coastal province of Fujian and Guangxi, were also hit by record rains this month, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate.

Summer flooding is common in parts of China, but has become more extreme in recent years due to climate change.

Chinese authorities have so far not directly linked this year’s extreme flooding to climate change.

Some local media have called it a “once in a century flood,” reporting that the water level has surpassed its highest level in 1931 and is approaching the area’s worst flooding in 1915.

Severe floods, landslides destroy buildings, roads in China

© 2022 AFP

Quote: Record floods threaten southern China (2022, June 23) retrieved June 23, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-threaten-southern-china.html

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