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Country prepares for flood season

Country prepares for flood season By Jin Zhu in Bengbu, Anhui province Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army take part in a floo...

Country prepares for flood season

By Jin Zhu in Bengbu, Anhui province
Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army take part in a flood prevention drill in Chaohu city, Anhui province, on Sunday. (Photo source: Li Yuanbo / China Daily)
 More rainfall is expected to hit China's three main waterways this summer than in recent years, possibly triggering severe flooding along parts of the rivers, senior flood control officials say.
Based on the long-term weather and climate forecasts, more rainfall is forecast along the Huaihe River, Yangtze River and Pearl River than in previous years.
Regions along northeastern parts of the Yellow River and the Huaihe River, for example, will see 20 to 50 percent more rainfall this summer than average, according to the Huaihe River commission under the Ministry of Water Resources.
The Huaihe River, one of the most flood-prone rivers in China, is likely to have its most severe flooding this summer since 2007, the commission warned.
"Huge flooding over the whole of the Huaihe River is likely to happen in the next several months, which could saturate the ground and trigger other disasters," Wang Bin, deputy chief of the commission, told China Daily in an interview.
The Huaihe River originates in Henan province and covers an area of 270,000 square kilometers eastward between the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, cutting through Henan and East China's Shandong, Anhui, and Jiangsu provinces before entering the Yangtze River.
Regions along the river have become more populous, and an increasing number of industrial and mining enterprises arrived in recent years due to rapid urbanization.
Of the country's total grain output - 571 million tons in 2011 - more than 30 percent came from regions along the Huaihe River, according to the Hauihe River commission.
"So the loss will be great if government fails to take effective relief measures when huge floods hit the areas," Wang said.
The Huaihe River has had two massive floods in the past decade, which caused direct economic losses of 28.6 billion yuan ($4.5 billion) in 2003 and 15.5 billion yuan in 2007.
So far, the quantity of relief materials, such as rubber boats, diesel-fueled generators and emergency lights, has far exceeded that in 2003 and 2007, said Ji Bing, a top flood control official in Anhui.
Local authorities have stepped up preparations for relief work and are making every effort to prevent the river from flooding.
"The embankments along the river have been reinforced, and there will be frequent reports on the river's situation when the flood season comes," said Wu Hongbin, a flood control official in Huaiyuan county, Anhui province.
Authorities are also worried about the prevention and control of flood-triggered disasters, such as mudslides, which, if the conditions were right, could occur within a matter of hours.
"Some local residents have relaxed their attention since there has been almost no major flood in the past few years," Ji said.
He urged local government to make full preparations for possible evacuations in case of severe flooding.
A sediment-washing operation has been launched in the Three Gorges Dam for the first time.
Vast amounts of silt on the bottom of the Three Gorges Dam river section will be removed by June 10, to leave sufficient water storage when the Yangtze River enters into flood season, the river's monitor agency said.
As of May 15, excessive rain had affected more than 4 million people in 90 counties in Jiangxi and Hunan provinces, causing a total of 1.4 billion yuan in direct economic losses, according to the Changjiang Water Resources Commission.
Regions along the Pearl River saw eight major floods in the past two decades, leading to 510 billion yuan in direct economic losses, said Zhao Xiaolin, deputy chief engineer of the Pearl River Water Resources Commission.
"As one of the frontiers of China's reform and opening-up, tremendous economic losses for the Pearl River Delta regions would be too great to bear," she said.
By May 15, massive rainfall had triggered flooding and landslides in Guangdong, resulting in 16 deaths and 30,610 residents being evacuated, statistics from local government showed.
"Most of the victims came from other places outside Guangdong and were not familiar with the disasters. They really had no idea of how to escape to safety," Qiu Dehua, deputy head of water resources department of Guangdong, told China Daily.



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AboutMicro News: Country prepares for flood season
Country prepares for flood season
AboutMicro News
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