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56 dead, 22 missing as massive floods hit China, 11 million affected

massive-floods-hit-china-july-2017

At least 56 people have been killed and 22 are still missing since June 29, 2017 in 11 central and southern provinces of China, including Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, Sichuan, and Guizhou, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs said Tuesday, July 4. Water levels in more than 60 rivers have recently risen above warning levels. Xiangjiang River in Changsha, the capital of Hunan, reached a record high of 39.51 meters (129.6 feet) early July 3, higher than the previous record of 39.18 meters (128.54 feet) set by a massive flood in 1998.

Between 100 and 300 mm (3.9 – 11.8 inches) of rain were recorded since June 29 in central and southern Guizhou, Guangxi, Hunan, northern Jiangxi, eastern Hubei, southern Anhui and other parts. Guilin, Guangxi, Jiujiang, Loudi and Xiangtan recorded between 420 and 486 mm (16.5 – 19.1 inches). On July 1, Guilin, Wuzhou, Yongzhou, and Xiangtan saw between 200 – 240 mm (7.9 and 9.4 inches), Gullin registered between 250 – 407 mm (9.8 – 16 inches), and the largest three-hour rainfall of 150 – 203 mm (5.9 – 8 inches).

As of 09:00 local time on July 3, 9.564 million people were affected in 8 provinces, 48 cities and 238 counties, 33 people were killed and 15 are missing, 19 000 houses collapsed and 189 000 were damaged. Direct economic loss reached 18.89 billion yuan.

Read more: Deadly floods and landslides hit southern China, 7.44 million affected – June 27, 2017

In Hunan Province, the worst hit, floods affected 6.616 million people, 24 people were killed and 8 are still missing. 16 000 houses collapsed and 171 000 were damaged.

The water level at the Changsha monitoring station in the Xiangjiang River, a major Yangtze tributary, reached a record high of 39.51 meters (129.6 feet) early Monday, higher than the previous record of 39.18 meters (128.54 feet) set by a massive flood in 1998, Xinhua reports.

Floods have inundated houses, uprooted trees, damaged cars and sabotaged roads in Changsha, the capital of Hunan. The public, even elementary school students who are on summer vacation, volunteered to help fill sandbags to prevent the water from overflowing. Intermittent rain is forecast to last in Changsha until Wednesday, and the city is under heavy pressure to battle flooding.

Fuyuan Road Bridge in Changsha, Hunan on July 3, 2017

Fuyuan Road Bridge in flood-hit Changsha, the capital of central China's Hunan Province. The water level in the section of the river in Changsha reached 39.51 m (129.6 feet) at 00:12 local time July 3 and exceeded its record flood level. Credit: Xinhua/Long Hongtao

In neighboring Hubei Province, 394 000 people were affected, more than 5 600 displaced and more than 800 needed emergency rescue. 200 houses collapsed while more than 300 sustained various levels of damage.

The Three Gorges Dam on the upper Yangtze has reduced water discharge by 70% in the last three days and lowered the water level by up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet), according to the Yangtze River Flood Prevention Headquarters.

In Guangxi, heavy rain and floods affected 444 000 people, 7 were killed and 4 are still missing. 31 000 people were displaced and 22 000 needed emergency rescue. 600 houses collapsed while 6 500 sustained various levels of damage.

In eastern Jiangxi Province, 1.362 million people were affected and 1 person was killed. More than 1 300 houses collapsed while nearly 5 600 sustained various levels of damage. 28 100 people in the province are battling against the floods, as water levels in the Jiangxi section of the Yangtze and Poyang Lake, China's largest fresh water lake, have risen above warning levels.

72 hours of rainfall accumulation as of 09:00 UTC on July 3, 2017 - SE China

Image credit: NASA/JAXA GPM, Google

In Sichuan, more than 2 000 people were affected, 2 are missing and more than 900 needed emergency rescue. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in the provincial capital of Chengdu was forced to close down for over an hour on Monday afternoon.

In Anhui, 128 000 people were affected and more than 1 100 displaced. More than 200 houses were damaged.

Update

As of 09:00 local time on July 4, MCA reports there are 11.082 million affected people, 56 dead, 22 missing, 27 000 houses collapsed, 37 000 were seriously damaged, 184 000 suffered some degree of damage. The total economic loss rose to 25.27 billion yuan.

Featured image: The submerged Orange Isle scenic area is seen in flood-hit Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province on July 3, 2017. Credit: Xinhua/Long Hongtao

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