Rainstorms have caused severe disruptions across north and central China since the morning of July 20, causing casualties, traffic chaos and the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people.
Torrential rain in north China’s Hebei Province has left 30 people dead and 68 missing, according to the provincial civil affairs department on Thursday. About 163,900 people have been forced to leave their homes.
The department has received reports of floods and landslides damaging more than 47,713 houses and about 1370 square miles of crops, causing traffic chaos, power outages and wreaking havoc with communications.
By noon on June 21, direct economic losses from the rain-triggered disaster reached 4.75 billion yuan(about $711 million).
Relief supplies including tents, quilts and clothing have been distributed in the worst-hit cities including Handan, Xingtai and the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang.
In neighboring Henan Province, 12 people were confirmed dead with six unaccounted for, the provincial flood control headquarters said. Storms forced the evacuation of 105,000 people and leveled 2,110 homes. The direct economic losses in Henan are estimated at 477 million yuan(about $71.4 million).
The National Commission for Disaster Relief and the Ministry of Civil Affairs have sent staff to assist the relief work.
Another dike breach found in rain-battered Hubei
Another breached dike was found on a subsidiary of Hanjiang River in central China’s Hubei Province, one day after workers completed repair work on the banks of the Kaotian River in the province.
A water torrent some 30 meters (98 ft) wide was seen in Hanbei River at 9 a.m. June 21, inundating a large area of farmland.
More than 34,000 residents had been evacuated earlier.
On Wednesday, workers finished a three-day repair project on a 265 ft wide breach on dike of Kaotian River. Some 50,000 cubic meters (1.76 million cubic ft) of stone was used to fill the breach.
The breach resulted in the flooding of seven villages, 3.86 square miles of farmland, and two fishery ponds, while threatening safe passage across several highways and railways.
The rain-battered province is prone to summer flooding.
Heavy rain affects large areas of Shayang, central China’s Hubei
In Suizhou City, heavy rain hit the city since Monday night led to mountain torrents in Luoyang Town on Tuesday. With a maximum precipitation of 8.5 inches, the rain-caused flood that inundated the first floor of some buildings as well as the majority of roads inside the town, of which the maximum depth was about 6.56 ft.
Local government has sent rescuers to the flooded area to help the trapped residents out of the area to safe place.
The rescue work is underway. So far 5,500 people have been transferred to safe places.
Transport misery in rainy Beijing
Beijing has been hit by a heavy rainfall rarely seen in years on Wednesday, with traffic on the rails, roads and in the skies disrupted.
The capital raised its storm alert to orange, the second-highest of China’s four-tier warning system, as the city’s meteorological station forecast that the rain would continue until Wednesday night.
BeijingFlood.mp4The heavy rain caused huge traffic problem in Beijing.
According to the Beijing Railway Bureau, at least 60 trains from the city have been canceled since 6 p.m. on Tuesday due to the rain and wind, while at least 13 more trains have had to return to their point of departure.
Meanwhile, a total of 237 flights had been canceled at Beijing International Airport by 8 p.m.
As of 2:30 p.m., 164 buses had either suspended their services or skipped stops. Several subway stations have also seen water logging on platforms.
The National Meteorological Center advised people living in the affected areas to prepare for possible floods, landslides and mud and rock flows, and those that live in mountainous areas to move to safe places.
Bus driver forced to make U-turn to ensure safety amid torrential rain
In Xingtai city, Hebei Province, a brave bus driver made a U-turn on a narrow road before going through a tunnel on Tuesday, as torrential rainstorms hit the region.
Seeing the potentially dangerous situation of the waterlogged road ahead, the driver successfully turned the large vehicle back in a hurry and ensured passenger safety. A local media worker from Yan Zhao Evening News shot the moment the bus driver turned around on the narrow road, a clip which has gone viral on social media. Netizens appreciated the driver’s excellent skills, while a weibo user called Ggorilla said all the bus drivers of route No.6 in the city are women, and gave a big thumbs up to the brave driver.
Story compiled with information from Xinhua and CCTV News.