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China sees historical 21 large-scale floods and national average rainfall in 2020


China has seen 21 large-scale floods in 2020, 1.6 times more than that of past years, hitting a record since 1998. This year's national average rainfall of 616 mm (24 inches) is 13% more than the same period in 2019, setting the record for second-highest since 1961.

The floods took place in the six main river basins in China, including in the rivers Yangtze and Yellow. A total of 833 rivers have risen above warning levels– 80 percent more than in the same period of that year, said China's Ministry of Water Resources.

267 of the rivers were above the safety level, while 77 hit historical record highs, including the country's largest freshwater lake Poyang, which hit its highest level since 1998.

The Qingyi River, an upper Yangtze tributary, had set its worst flooding in a century. RIvers Yangtze and Huai had seen their highest level of rainfall since records began in 1961, officials said.


Flood discharging at Xin'an River Dam in July 2020. Image credit: MasaneMiyaPA


The Three Gorges dam on August 13, 2020. Credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2, Antonio Vecoli


Provinces of China affected by the 2020 floods. Image credit: Gbear605

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This year, the national average rainfall reached 616 mm (24 inches)– 13 percent more than the same period in 2019 and the second-highest since 1961.

Water levels in some major rivers in the Northeast are still above the limit or warning levels. The ministry and other relevant authorities assured that efforts are ongoing to conduct solid flood control operations as the country is now in its late-stage flood season.

As of October 12, this year's floods have caused property damage worth 32 billion dollars. About 219 people were dead or missing.

The affected regions include Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hubei, Chongqing, and the lower regions of the Yangtze basin.

Featured image credit: MasaneMiyaPA

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