Historic flooding displaces tens of thousands in southern China
Flash flooding has forced many to flee their homes in China’s Guangdong province. Footage captured on June 21 shows firefighters rescuing numerous people.
One of the worst floods in recent memory has brought devastation to the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian and Jiangxi across central and southern China as rivers overflowed their banks on Tuesday. The flooding produced landslides which wiped away houses, and cars and crops were swept away by the torrents of water.
The raging floodwaters prompted tens of thousands of people to evacuate across several provinces in southern China according to The Associated Press. The AP reported that nearly 500,000 homes had sustained damage in Jiangxi.
It remains unclear if there were any new flood-related fatalities this week, but at least 32 were killed in southern China by flooding earlier this month, according to a CNN report.
Authorities in China's Guangdong province upgraded the region's flood control emergency response to the highest level on Tuesday, shutting down schools, businesses, public transport and docks as floodwaters rose to a 50-year high.
AccuWeather meteorologists say rain may not let up in the region through the weekend, which would hinder any clean-up and recovery efforts across the waterlogged area.
Major cities such as Shaoguan, Heyuan and Meizhou in the Guangdong province were overwhelmed by the floodwaters as heavy rainfall turned major roadways into rivers and eventually caused some roads to collapse.
Southern portions of China were not the only areas that had experienced intense downpours as storm warnings were issued for much of the eastern Chinese provinces Tuesday, including the capital city of Beijing, which is home to over 21 million people. The country's official Xinhua News Agency stated that storms triggered the highest level of flood alerts along the Beijing River Tuesday night local time, Reuters reported.
Reservoirs in the central province of Hunan reached flood level and were releasing torrents of water which was expected to further exacerbate flooding concerns downstream in eastern portions of the country. Cities in the province, such as Changsha, picked up over 2 inches of rainfall on Monday during a three-hour period.
The summer months in southern and central China are usually riddled with more rain than any other time of the year. Although flooding is common this time of year, the magnitude of recent floods in the area has been some of the worst in recent decades.
"There only looks to be isolated rainfall in Guangdong and Fujian provinces through at least the weekend, but the threat for heavy rain around Shanghai and the Yangtze River basin is expected to return Friday," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said.
Across southern China, much of the rain and thunderstorms throughout the rest of the week will develop across inland regions including the Yunnan, Guizhou and Hunan provinces.
Areas across the Fujian and Guangdong provinces are expected to have a few showers and isolated thunderstorms, mainly on Friday, AccuWeather forecasters say.
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