China’s summer monsoon season has delivered incessant rainfall over the past month, causing rising water levels on the numerous tributaries of the Yangtze River, and posing a major test for the country’s flood-control infrastructure. Flooding in southwest China has displaced thousands of people after days of heavy rain and more could be on the way, authorities have warned.
As per official media, across Sichuan province, rainstorms have pushed up water levels in 14 rivers, affecting more than 720,000 residents and causing an estimated US$27 million in damage since Friday. More than 1 lakh people have been evacuated due to floods and landslides. China has been on high alert since severe floods hit the region in 2020.
“The flood control system in the Yellow River Basin is not yet complete, the dams have weak links, preventing floods on small and medium-sized rivers is difficult, and cadres and the public lack actual flood fighting experience,” Ministry of Water Resources said in a statement on Sunday.Last year saw the worst flooding in decades, affecting tens of millions of people in dozens of provinces and resulting in at least 86 billion yuan in economic losses.Authorities have warned that the amount of rainfall this year could be even higher, with the Ministry of Water Resources issuing a call in June for flood prevention efforts and for communities to prepare for heavy rainfall that may persist until August. Firefighters have been dispatched across the country for evacuation operations, often rescuing people from their homes and rowing them to safety.