23.85 mln affected since July as floods batter South China


BEIJING: As many as 31 people have died or are missing and 23.85 million people have been affected due to floods in 24 provincial regions, including east China’s Anhui and Jiangxi provinces since July, according to Chinese Ministry of Emergency Management.
Since July, the floods have caused 16,000 houses to collapse and led to direct economic losses worth 64.39 billion yuan (some 9.21 billion U.S. dollars), according to local media. China’s national observatory issued a blue alert for rainstorms, even as incessant downpours have already wreaked havoc in vast regions of the country.
China has a four-tier, color-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
Since early June, the water levels of 433 rivers in China have risen over the danger mark, with 33 of them rising to historical highs, the Ministry of Water Resources said on July 13.
Heavy rain since July 2 has affected 80 counties in 14 cities in East China’s Anhui Province, including Bengbu, Xuancheng, Tongling, Chizhou, Huangshan, Anqing, Wuhu, Maanshan, Fuyang and Chuzhou, according to local authorities.
As of Sunday evening, four million people have been affected by floodwaters, 664,000 people have been relocated, and about 480, 000 hectares of crops have been destroyed.
Floodgates were opened at multiple dams in east China’s Anhui Province to discharge floodwater, after the province continued to see heavy rainfall, said local authorities on Monday. – Agencies