Tuesday, June 14, 2011

China flood deaths rise, more rain expected

Terra Daily via AFP: China said Monday the number of people confirmed killed in recent floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain had leapt past 100 as authorities warned the downpours were set to continue. The nation's civil affairs ministry said the summer rains that have so far affected 13 provinces or regions -- some of which had only recently been through a severe dry spell -- had left 105 people dead and another 63 missing.

The National Meteorological Centre added heavy rains along the affected middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze river -- China's longest -- were to continue over the next three days, adding to an already serious situation. "Water levels in rivers and reservoirs in some areas of the Yangtze river are nearing or have already exceeded warning levels," the centre said in a statement.

It added authorities should step up their checks on dams and reservoirs. "At the same time, they must be on their guards for disasters such as floods, land- and mudslides." All in all, at least 465,000 hectares (1.5 million acres) of cropland have been destroyed. Drought-hit provinces such as Hubei and Hunan along the Yangtze are now in the thralls of heavy summer rainfall, and the recent dry spell has in some cases made the situation worse….

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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