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China: new violent rains predicted, victims engaged in a time trial

Residents affected by severe flooding in southern China are trying to save their belongings from muddy waters on Wednesday. the approach of new torrential rains against which local authorities have warned the population.

Heavy rains have been hitting the southern province of Guangdong since Thursday. Four people lost their lives and more than 100,000 residents were evacuated.

Heavy flooding is highly unusual at this time of year in this lush, subtropical region.

The central government has allocated 110 million yuan (14.2 million 'euros) for emergency aid to flood-hit areas in Guangdong, as well as neighboring Jiangxi and Guangxi, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Wednesday.

< p>These funds will be used mainly for “rescuing and properly rehousing those affected (and) for emergency management”, CCTV said.

In the village of Shatang, the rising waters have affected a tourist area made up of bungalows. Local government staff and members are helping to clear the mud from the streets, AFP journalists noted.

“Some rooms were flooded and we are in the process of cleaning all the mud (…) We should be ready to welcome customers again for the May 1 holidays,” explains Liu Yongqi, 25, the co-general director at Shatang Moonview Homestay Resort.

China: new violent rains predicted, victims engaged in a time trial

Torrential rains in China © AFP – Nicholas SHEARMAN

On the large meadow in the middle of the bungalows lie pieces of sheet metal, disjointed chairs or toilet bowls.

Brooms in hand, boots on feet and conical hats on the head to protect themselves from the scorching sun, five employees wander through the aisles.

“We go everywhere to flush water and clean”, tells AFP l 'one of them pushing the mud out of a bungalow where the water rose to more than two meters.

“We have already built five-six homes today”, explains an employee trying to clean a piece of furniture with water and a broom.

“The damage is significant (…) But fortunately we we are insured”, observes Liu Shaofei, 53 years old, father of Liu Yongqi, other co-general director of the family business.

– Trapped islanders –

In Qingyuan, the ferry connecting the city to an island on the Bei River cannot currently operate due to the water level. The approximately 600 islanders are thus cut off from the rest of the city.

China: new violent rains predicted, victims engaged in a time trial

Cleaning up mud and damage after floods in Qinguyan, south China's Guangdong province, April 24, 2024. © AFP – HECTOR RETAMAL

Wednesday afternoon, municipal agents from the sanitation department, taking advantage of a drop in the water level, were clearing sand and mud around the pier.

“It may rain again this evening and tomorrow, and we don't know the situation upstream of the river, so the water level could still rise,” explains to AFP a city official wishing to remain anonymous.

Near the pier, Wang Zhi, bag of lettuce in hand and gas bottle placed on his scooter , hopes to cross.

“I would like to go home to the island. I saw that the water level has dropped. So I did some races”, he explains to AFP, before realizing, annoyed, that the crossing will not be possible straight away.

– Further rainfall expected –

Authorities warned of further heavy rain in Guangdong province from Wednesday evening to Friday.

Up to 240 millimeters of rain are expected in many parts of the territory and up to 300 millimeters in several localities.

China: new violent rains predicted, victims engaged in a time trial

Cleaning up mud and damage after floods in Qinguyan, south China's Guangdong province, April 24, 2024. © AFP – HECTOR RETAMAL

Officials also warned the population not to spread “rumors” about possible shortages or rising prices of basic necessities.

“Do not manufacture or disseminate information about rising prices, limited supply chains or significant increases in market demand,” the market regulator said regional in a notice broadcast Tuesday evening.

The province of Guangdong, emblematic of Chinese manufacturing power with its tens of thousands of export-oriented factories, has some 127 million inhabitants.

Several areas of the province have not experienced such severe flooding this early in the year since records began in the 1950s, according to state media .

“Intensifying climate change” has increased the likelihood of this type of precipitation, which usually only occurs in summer, said forecaster Yin Zhijie chief for hydrology at the Ministry of Water Resources, Tuesday on China National Radio.

China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. It has promised to reduce its emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116