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Northeast China rivers reach historic levels amid persistent heavy rain


Persistent heavy downpours have caused 13 rivers to rise to record levels in parts of northeastern China, the Ministry of Water Resources reported Saturday, June 19, 2021. As of Tuesday, June 22, provincial authorities in Heilongjiang upgraded to a level two emergency response.

Several parts of northeastern China have been hit by incessant heavy rains since last week, prompting authorities to warn people of flooding as water levels in the region's rivers reach historic levels.

The ministry said 13 rivers, mostly in Heilongjiang, have hit above-normal water levels. 

The affected rivers included the main stream and tributaries of the upper reaches of Heilongjiang, the Emur River, Pangu River, and Huma River, and the Dobukur River and Gan River, the upper tributaries of the Nenjiang River in Inner Mongolia.

Five rivers, including the Luogu River, a section of the upper reaches of Heilongjiang and its tributaries, Emur, Pangu, and Dobukur, a tributary of the Nenjiang River, have all surpassed highs last recorded decades ago.

In some areas, flash flooding swept away bridges and submerged farms along the riverbanks. According to China News, the current average precipitation in the Heilongjiang River Basin is reportedly the highest since 1961.

Since May, the average rainfall in the basin has reached 155 mm (6 inches), which is almost twice the previous record.

On Monday, around 500 residents in Huma County were evacuated after authorities raised the flood emergency response to the highest level.

Water levels in the rivers have been increasing rapidly and the situation is becoming "grave", said the authorities. In Jilin, 44 warnings were issued for lightning, heavy rain, and hail. 

As of Tuesday, Heilongjiang authorities upgraded to a level two emergency response — the second-highest on a scale of 4.

Crews have been dispatched to Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia to assist authorities with flood rescue and control. 

Continued showers and thunderstorms are forecast in northeast China on Thursday, June 24. 

In May, thousands of residents were evacuated in Jiangxi Province as heavy rains destroyed houses and fields.

Featured image credit: Natural Calamities/YouTube


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