Massive flood threat for millions in China's Guangdong

Bernard Orr and Ethan WangReuters
Emergency response plans have been enacted ahead of expected floods in China's Guangdong province. (AP PHOTO)
Camera IconEmergency response plans have been enacted ahead of expected floods in China's Guangdong province. (AP PHOTO) Credit: AP

Major rivers, waterways and reservoirs in China's Guangdong province are threatening to unleash dangerous floods, forcing the government to enact emergency response plans to protect more than 127 million people.

Calling the situation "grim", local weather officials said sections of rivers and tributaries at the Xijiang and Beijiang river basins are hitting peak water levels that only happen once in 50 years, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Sunday.

Massive flooding is expected in the Beijiang basin, CCTV said quoting China's water resource ministry, prompting it to raise an emergency advisory.

Guangdong officials urged departments in all localities and municipalities to begin emergency planning to avert natural disasters and promptly disperse disaster relief funds and materials to ensure affected people have food, clothing, water and shelter.

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The province has experienced torrid downpours for several days and strong winds due to severe convective weather that has affected several parts of China in the past few weeks.

Heavy rain overnight on Saturday battered the central and northern parts of the province in Zhaoqing, Shaoguan, Qingyuan and Jiangmen.

Almost 20,000 people have been evacuated in Qingyuan, according to state media, and some power facilities in Zhaoqing have been damaged.

Raging muddy flood waters swept ae vehicle down a narrow street in Zhaoqing, a video released by Hongxing News showed.

Many hydrological stations in the province were exceeding water levels, weather officials warned, with reservoirs in the provincial capital Guangzhou, a city of 18 million, reaching flood limits on Sunday.

In neighbouring Guangxi region, west of Guangdong, state media video footage showed violent hurricane-like winds destroying buildings.

CCTV said some places had also been hit by hail and major flooding.

As of 10am Sunday (0200 GMT), 65 landslides had been recorded in Hezhou city in Guangxi, state media reported.

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