Torrential rains across China push some flooding to record levels

China 24

Floods in China happen every year. However, the rains have been torrential across parts of China for the past week or so.

And, in some cities, that’s pushed water levels in more than 60 rivers and streams above warning levels and to record highs.

CGTN’s Susan Roberts has more.

Dramatic scenes are happening all across parts of central and southern China.

China has become good at flood rescues in part because it’s had to, with floods happening annually.

In southwest China’s Sichuan Province, they’re using new technology — like slope stability sensors where landslides have occurred, to protect responding rescue teams.

Radar detects if other landslides are imminent, sounding an alarm so rescuers can evacuate. The new technology is part of a broader effort.

“We set up a 100-member rescue team in our township,” said Jiang Jianhua, Deputy Head of Sanxi Township in Yangxin County. “We also require every village to establish an emergency team of 15 to 20 members and organize more residents for emergency work.”

Despite what’s happening now, the flood situation in China is actually more stable this year than usual.

As of last week, China’s Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters reported that flooding has damaged 982,000 hectares of cropland and directly impacted nearly 15 million people.

Direct economic losses from flooding this year are nearly 23 billion yuan, or $3.3 billion. While those are staggering numbers, they are actually well below average figures for this time in recent years.

That’s encouraging to officials, but there is no guarantee the downward trend will continue. China’s flood season runs until September.

Tianyi Luo discusses drought trends in China

CGTN’s Susan Roberts talks to Tianyi Luo of the World Resources Institute about drought trends in China.