Heavy rain has hit large areas of China since June, reminding authorities across China-especially in regions at great risk of flooding in the southwest-of the need to be alert and take preventive action against natural threats, the China Meteorological Administration said on Thursday.
South China faced widespread downpours in June, with some regions bracing for total precipitation exceeding 40 centimeters, influenced by Typhoon Ewiniar. The Pearl River Delta and the coastal areas of Guangdong province have experienced rainstorms for four to five days, with Huadu district in Guangzhou setting a record for the amount of rain in a month.
Since late June, heavy rain has moved west to affect cities between the western parts of the Sichuan Basin and the southern parts of Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, resulting in significantly higher precipitation than previous years, and thus greater risks of flooding in the upper reaches of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers.
At least seven people died and another seven were injured in flooding and landslides caused by the heavy rain in Sichuan province since Sunday, with more than 18,000 people forced to relocate from unsafe areas, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Rainstorms have also battered four cities in Shaanxi since Friday, forcing the relocation of 290 people, Xinhua quoted local authorities on Wednesday as saying.
The Ministry of Water Resources reported that the first flood of the year in the upper reaches of the Yangtze, which was spotted on Thursday, was the result of continuous recent downpours. The Jialing River, a branch of the Yangtze River where the floodwaters originated, saw water levels rise 19 centimeters above the warning mark on Wednesday before receding to safe levels.
Heavy rain is forecast to move south as it becomes less intense, but it will still affect a wide range of cities, including those in Southwest China, the eastern parts of Northwest China and the southern parts of Northeast China.
"People in the border area between Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces should take extra precautions against natural disasters because it is prone to floods and landslides," said Zhang Tao, chief forecaster at the National Meteorological Center.
China entered the flood season on April 12. Six teams have already been dispatched by the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters to Sichuan, Gansu, Anhui, Shaanxi and Henan provinces to guide flood control work.
E Jingping, deputy head of the headquarters and minister of water resources, stressed the importance of forecasts, early warnings and daily inspections to cope with the heavy rainfall across China this year.