Xi calls for all-out flood rescue effort as storms pound southern China

June 19, 2024 8:33 am

[Source: Reuters]

The task of controlling floods in China is becoming increasingly arduous, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday, calling for all-out efforts to safeguard lives and property as powerful storms pounded provinces from the interior to the eastern coast.

About a dozen people have been reported killed in floods or rain-induced mudslides in recent days with the annual flooding season in southern Chinese provinces in full swing.

In the city of Meizhou in Guangdong province, low-rise buildings tilted perilously on subsiding ground next to raging rivers, or lay half-submerged as flood-waters burst the banks, video on social media showed.

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In Guangdong province, at least five people have been killed and 13 trapped due to flash floods and mudslides, according to state media, with over 1,400 houses having collapsed and 8,000 hectares of crops damaged.

Xinhua said Xi had called for all-out efforts to fight floods in the south, urging every possible attempt to rescue those lost and trapped.

Deaths during China’s annual summer floods have fallen sharply from the thousands each year in the 1990s, as authorities beefed up flood control measures, such as dam construction.

Yet extreme weather in recent years, including record-breaking rainfall, has made China vulnerable to intense flooding and disasters such as sudden mudslides, often in its mountainous but populated areas.