Flooding in Central China Kills 21, Forces Thousands Evacuated
(Bloomberg) -- Flooding in the central Chinese province of Hubei, the capital of which is Wuhan, has killed at least 21 people and forced thousands to be evacuated from their homes.
The downpours have been most extreme in the northern and eastern parts of the province, with the town of Liulin receiving more than 500 millimeters (19.7 inches) of rain in the span of 12 hours on Thursday, according to state-owned national broadcaster China Central Television. All the deaths reported so far have been in Liulin, where another four people remain missing.
Rescuers have rushed to the scene as authorities try to reach those trapped by the flooding and to reestablish power and communication links knocked out by the storms, the Ministry of Emergency Management said late Thursday. More rain was forecast for the province Friday, with some areas set for heavy downpours, according to the China Meteorological Administration.
The level of preparedness among local authorities to deal with extreme weather has come under scrutiny after flooding last month in the province of Henan killed more than 300. China’s cabinet, the State Council, last week launched a probe into how officials in Henan handled the situation, pledging to hold responsible anyone found to have been derelict in their duties.
Chinese authorities, citing climate change, have also warned that more extreme weather events are likely. Speaking to reporters in Beijing at the end of July, Wang Zhihua, spokesman for the meteorological administration, said, “The new climate norm means that current record-setting events will become something that happens frequently.”
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.