Flood­ing pos­si­ble

Heavy rain and wind in next 10 days may pose dan­ger

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By HOU LIQIANG houliqiang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Heavy rain over the next 10 days may cause flood­ing in small and medium-size rivers in south­ern and north­ern China, and high winds could make the sit­u­a­tion worse, ac­cord­ing to flood con­trol author­i­ties.

Pre­cip­i­ta­tion in parts of south­ern China is fore­cast to reach up to 150 mil­lime­ters be­tween July 10 and 19. North­east China will see rainfall from 50 to 100 mm, the State Flood Con­trol and Drought Re­lief Head­quar­ters said late on Mon­day.

“Floods hap­pen faster in rivers in north­ern China, which have com­par­a­tively weak flood con­trol fa­cil­i­ties. It has been a prob­lem that some­times small rains can re­sult in big dis­as­ters in the north,” it said.

It also said many wa­ter con­ser­vancy projects along three ma­jor water­ways in North­east China, in­clud­ing the Hei­long and Songhua rivers, are still un­der con­struc­tion and have yet to be tested by ma­jor floods, which also in­creases the risks.

The re­cent rainfall has dam­aged some flood con­trol fa­cil­i­ties in south­ern China and raised most rivers there to the high wa­ter mark, leav­ing the re­gion more vul­ner­a­ble to flood­ing as a new round of rainfall ap­proaches, the head­quar­ters said.

At a news con­fer­ence on Mon­day, Chen Lei, min­is­ter of wa­ter re­sources and deputy di­rec­tor of the head­quar­ters, said a more spe­cific plan for dis­charg­ing wa­ter from reser­voirs along the Yangtze River, in­clud­ing the Three Gorges Reser­voir, will be drawn up to cre­ate space for po­ten­tial flood­wa­ters.

He also said pa­trols will be con­tin­ued along the Yangtze, de­spite re­duced wa­ter lev­els, as safety haz­ards may have de­vel­oped in some sec­tions of dams that have been soaked for days.

“There will ob­vi­ously be stronger typhoon ac­tiv­ity start­ing in mid-July. Two ty­phoons may come si­mul­ta­ne­ously with com­plex and vari­able mov­ing tracks,” the head­quar­ter’s state­ment said, adding that more con­sul­ta­tions will be con­ducted with var­i­ous de­part­ments so that ar­eas likely to be af­fected can take pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures.

While ma­jor rivers in China are gen­er­ally well equipped with flood con­trol fa­cil­i­ties, more investment needs to be made to en­hance con­trol along the 166,000 kilo­me­ters of small and medium-size rivers, ac­cord­ing to Zhang Xiang­wei, deputy di­rec­tor of plan­ning di­vi­sion at the Min­istry of Wa­ter Re­sources.

Zhang told an ear­lier news con­fer­ence that China had in­vested 94.7 bil­lion yuan ($13.9 bil­lion) from 2009 to the end of last year to en­hance the flood con­trol fa­cil­i­ties on 55,000 km of small and medium-size rivers, which brought key sec­tions of those rivers up to the re­quired flood con­trol stan­dards.

He also said the cen­tral govern­ment had de­cided to in­vest 138 bil­lion yuan to en­hance flood con­trol fa­cil­i­ties on an­other 47,000 kilo­me­ters of rivers from 2016 to 2020, af­ter floods last year in­flicted great losses.

LI HANCHI / FOR CHINA DAILY

Flood­wa­ters from the Li­u­jiang River soak part of Li­uzhou in the Guangxi Zhuang au­tonomous re­gion on Tues­day. It was the third flood in the city since June 29.

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