More severe weather expected to hit China over weekend; precautions advised

A woman walks with an umbrella to shelter from the sun on a hot day in Beijing, on June 28, 2018.
A woman walks with an umbrella to shelter from the sun on a hot day in Beijing, on June 28, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Continuous heavy rainfall swept most parts of China this week, affecting thousands of people and causing heavy economic losses, according to the Ministry of Water Resources.

From Wednesday (June 27) to Thursday, heavy rain hit Anhui, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Shandong and Jilin provinces.

Caolaoji, in eastern China's Anhui province, and Dafengzha, in eastern China's Jiangsu province, were the most heavily hit, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said.

The National Meteorological Centre said that heavy rainfall will hit areas including Hubei, Sichuan and Jiangsu provinces from Thursday to Sunday, and some areas will see thunderstorms.

On Monday and Tuesday this week, heavy rain hit six provincial areas. Flooding occurred in 31 rivers in Yunnan, Sichuan, Gansu, Shaanxi and Shandong provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, according to a statement released by the ministry on Wednesday.

As of noon on Wednesday, storms had struck 48 cities and districts in south-western Sichuan province and eastern Shandong province, affecting 254,300 people, damaging 8,360 hectares of crops and 46 houses, and causing estimated economic losses of 733 million yuan (S$151 million). No deaths or missing people have been reported so far.

The ministry and the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters have taken measures to closely monitor and prepare for rainfall.

Shandong has been most badly affected by the rainstorms in northern part of China. Flooding caused by heavy downpours since Monday in the province affected about 91,000 people in six cities, according to local civil affairs authorities.

As of 2 pm on Tuesday, rain also damaged 6,800 hectares of crops and more than 500 houses, causing estimated economic losses of 193 million yuan.

In Sichuan province, rainstorms have battered 15 cities and prefectures since Saturday, forcing the relocation of more than 8,800 people. Seventeen trains had been delayed or cancelled in the province as of Tuesday noon, due to heavy rain, local authorities said.

Railway authorities closed a section of the Baoji-Chengdu Railway, a key line linking Baoji, in north-western China's Shaanxi province, with Chengdu, in Sichuan province, as rising river levels threatened passenger safety, according to China Railway Chengdu Group.

Several railway stations in Sichuan are offering ticket exchanges and refunds.

Forecasters predicted that the rain would hit parts of Shandong, Henan, Shanxi, Gansu, Sichuan, Guangdong and Heilongjiang provinces, with some of those areas expecting thunderstorms.

Local authorities have been told to reduce outdoor activities and take precautions against flooding, flash floods and landslides.