Thousands evacuated in Sichuan amid floods; more rain forecast in China

SHANGHAI • Heavy rain and flooding have forced thousands of people to evacuate in China's southwestern province of Sichuan, with the authorities urging citizens across the country to brace themselves for more downpours.

In Sichuan, torrential rain since last Friday has raised the water levels of 14 rivers, swept away boats and bridges, and forced the evacuation of more than 4,600 people, state media reported.

While no casualties have been reported, state media said the rain and flooding have affected more than 120,000 people, forced the cancellation of some train services and caused more than 176 million yuan (S$36.7 million) worth of damage. About 27,000 homes in the city of Bazhong, Sichuan, were reported to be without power.

About 900km to the north-east in the city of Xinzhou in Shanxi province, state media photos showed cars driving through inundated streets. Jincheng city, also in Shanxi province, raised its heavy rain signal to red, the highest level.

Yesterday, China's National Meteorological Centre renewed an alert for rainstorms across the country, forecasting heavy rainfall across wide swathes of north and central China.

The Beijing Meteorological Observatory said accumulated rainfall in the capital is expected to reach 60mm to 100mm on average between 5pm yesterday and 8am tomorrow, while the city's flood control authority warned of the heaviest rain in three years.

The city typically records around 600mm of rain annually.

In Hebei province bordering Beijing, heavy rain and thunderstorms left airplanes temporarily unable to take off and land at the airport in Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital, a local news portal reported.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2021, with the headline 'Thousands evacuated in Sichuan amid floods; more rain forecast in China'. Subscribe