Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Experts say China must beef up anti-flood measures

People’s Daily Online (China): As this year's first major typhoon looms off southern China, urban development experts warn that many newly urbanized areas' anti-flooding infrastructure is in such a woeful state that a major meteorological disaster will pose an unprecedented and at times deadly threat to many cities.

Nearly all cities in the entire Yangtze River valley are being threatened by floods, when this year's first major typhoon is expected to bring more rain to southern China next week after many cities have already been hit by continual downpours since early May. Devastating floods are a consequence of looming global climate change, said Lin Liangxun, a senior researcher with Guangdong province meteorological center.

Voices in the local media in some southern cities are calling on the government to enact a national urban flood-prevention law. According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Land and Resources, by the end of June, China's incidence of geological disasters in the first six months of 2010 had risen by a staggering extent compared to the same period last year.

There were 19,522 such disasters in the first six months of this year, ranging from floods to earthquakes, compared to 1,864 in the same period last year. According to Yin Yueping, a specialist at the ministry, the number of disasters in June was 15 times as high as the same period last year….

On the waterfront of Maoping Town (the county seat of Zigui County, Hubei), west of downtown (toward the passenger boat dock). The town is upstream of the Three Gorges Dam; note the Yangtze river banks, which probably can be flooded when the reservoir level is higher. Shot by VMenkov, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

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