Rain causes floods in southern China
Storms and heavy rainfall since Friday have caused the flooding of roads and homes in southern China, and hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated in Hainan province on Sunday.
In Wanning, a badly affected area of Hainan, more than 150,000 people have been affected, and 80,000 were moved to safe areas. More than 400 policemen had been sent to deal with traffic chaos and safety issues, the local flood control and drought relief office said on Sunday.
No casualties had been reported as of Sunday evening, according to the office.
On Saturday night, the Wanning meteorological bureau issued a red alert for rainfall and said rainstorms are expected to continue until Tuesday.
China has a four-tier colorcoded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
According to the latest statistics from the Wanning civil affairs bureau, the direct economic losses totaled 1.5 billion yuan ($247 million) as of Sunday.
A total 8,650 hectares of farmland has been damaged and 158 villages were flooded.
Wanning authorities have sent 1,100 boxes of bottled water, 1,050 boxes of biscuits, 320 boxes of instant porridge, 1,850 boxes of instant noodles and other necessities, such as quilts, candles and clothes to help the victims.
On Monday, 403 metric tons of rice will be allocated to the victims, the bureau said.
The National Meteorological Center issued a blue rainstorm alert on Sunday, forecasting heavy rain in Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang and Hainan until Tuesday.
Affected by a strong cold snap, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces will see a temperature drop of between 4 and 8 C before Tuesday, according to the NMC.
He Lifu, NMC’s chief weather forecaster, warned local authorities in parts of Guangxi, Guangdong and Yunnan to pay attention to potential geological disasters triggered by rainstorms.
“Such heavy rain is rarely seen in December in southern China, but it cannot be called an ‘abnormal weather event’,” He said.
The winter monsoon determines southern China’s climate in winter, and it can bring heavy rain, he said.
Xinhua contributed to this story.