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In China, red alert lifted after deadly torrential rains

Photo: Agence France-Presse A submerged building in Qingyuan, Guangdong province, on April 22.

Sébastien Ricci – Agence France-Presse and Peter Catterall – Agence France-Presse in Beijing

Published at 12:53 a.m. Updated at 6:27 a.m.

  • Asia

China on Tuesday afternoon lifted a brief red alert issued over a southern part of the country, where deadly torrential rains led to the evacuation of more than 100,000 residents in the most populous province.

Since Thursday, torrential rains have hit the province of Guangdong, emblematic of Chinese manufacturing power with its tens of thousands of export-oriented factories and which has some 127 million inhabitants.

Rainfall in recent days has caused rivers to swell to such levels that there are fears of “floods of the century”, authorities have warned.

On Tuesday, the metropolis of Shenzhen was placed on red alert for several hours, the highest risk level.

It was finally lifted following a significant improvement in weather conditions in this city of 17.7 million inhabitants, bordering Hong Kong.

Heavy rainfall in southern China is not unusual, particularly in summer, but occurs earlier in spring.

Already in September, Shenzhen had been affected by torrential rains, the heaviest ever recorded since weather records began in 1952, according to state media.

The bad weather in recent days has left at least four dead in Guangdong, while 10 people are still missing, according to an official toll revised upwards on Monday which has not changed.

In addition, 110,000 inhabitants of the province had to be relocated, according to figures communicated by the official New China press agency.

Part of it was evacuated from Qingyuan, a town located about sixty kilometers from the provincial capital Canton, and crossed by the Bei River, a tributary of the Pearl River Delta.

< p>Elsewhere, bad weather has caused landslides in mountainous areas.

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Army to the rescue

Aerial images of the province show homes surrounded by muddy waters stretch for kilometers.

Others show a children's playground and road signs submerged in muddy water.

The army was called in to help clear up the damage.

In Foshan, a city near Guangzhou, a ship hit a bridge, Xinhua reported Tuesday, citing local authorities.

This incident, undoubtedly a consequence of the floods according to New China, threw the crew of the boat into the water.

Seven people were rescued but four remain missing, according to the agency.

Asia pays the high price

China faces in recent months to extreme weather conditions, exacerbated by climate change according to scientists.

Climate change caused by greenhouse gases emitted by humans makes extreme weather phenomena more frequent and more intense, according to these scientists.

In China, “floods and droughts have increased significantly,” Yin Zhijie, a forecaster with the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources, told state radio, worried about “intensification of global warming.”

Parts of Guangdong have not seen such severe flooding at this time of year since 1954, according to Chinese state radio.< /p>

Asia was “the world's region most affected by weather-related disasters” in 2023, the UN said Tuesday.

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