| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

China floods: Xi Jinping urges authorities to step up amid torrential rains

In response to the severe flooding and destructive mudslides occurring across China in recent weeks, Chinese President Xi Jinping has emphasized the importance of prioritizing the safety and protection of people’s lives and property. President Xi has called upon authorities at all levels to place utmost importance on ensuring the well-being and security of the affected population.
Xi, who is general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission said authorities must strive to minimise losses in the work regarding flood prevention and disaster relief.

He directed the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters and the ministries of emergency management and water resources to enhance coordination, strengthen consultation and research, and improve early warnings and forecasts.

The rains have killed as many as 15 people while four were missing in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing. A video going viral on social media platforms showed a building in southwest Chongqing crumbling into a raging torrent.
Thousands have been forced to flee their homes and seek shelter elsewhere while bridges and other important infrastructure projects have been destroyed. Initial reports suggest that damage estimates may well cross $80 million.

According to Xinhua news agency, the latest round of rain has affected the lives of 130,000 people while damaging more than 7,500 hectares of crops. State broadcaster CCTV estimated that floods have caused $31.5 million worth of economic loss in the Wanzhou district, northeast of Chongqing.

“The heavy rains, mainly seen in the areas along the Yangtze River, have triggered floods and geological disasters, disrupting the lives of more than 130,000 people in 19 districts and counties,” Xinhua added.

In the Hunan province, over 10,000 were forced to evacuate the flood-hit area after more than 2,000 homes were destroyed. In northwest China’s Shaanxi province, many houses were damaged in the “one-in-fifty-years” torrential rains.

Flood warning has been issued for the north including Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.
While the situation remains worrisome, Chinese authorities have warned that “multiple natural disasters” were in the offing in the month of July, AFP reported.

The authorities blamed global warming as the reason behind the extreme weather phenomenon in Chin as well as other Asian countries, Deadly heatwaves, record temperatures and torrential rains resulting in floods have been the theme for the last couple of years, across the continent.

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