China's all-out efforts in emergency response to floods

(Xinhua) 08:24, July 11, 2024

In this aerial drone photo, rescuers work on an embankment to stem the piping effect in Huarong County, central China's Hunan Province, July 8, 2024. (Xinhua/Chen Zeguo)

BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) -- China has completed an embankment stretching about 12 kilometers, which is located approximately 40 kilometers west of the city of Yueyang, central China's Hunan Province, strengthening flood prevention work at Dongting Lake, the Ministry of Water Resources said on Wednesday.

The embankment, serving as a third line of defense, was completed at 6 p.m. Tuesday after a process which started on Monday. The embankment forms part of efforts in response to a dike breach which occurred on Friday at China's second-largest freshwater lake. The breach was sealed late on Monday.

The construction of a third line of defense is aimed at resolutely preventing secondary disasters, and at ensuring the flood control safety of areas beyond this defensive line, according to the ministry.

This is one of the latest efforts made by authorities in emergency response to floods that have recently hit some of China's central, eastern, southern, southwestern and northeastern regions.

As of Tuesday, the National Fire and Rescue Administration had dispatched 219 rescue workers and 72 fire-fighting trucks and flood drainage rescue vehicles to Hunan to assist local authorities with rescue operations.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Tuesday that since the dike breach at Dongting Lake, the ministry has deployed workers, trucks and generators for emergency repairs, and has managed to maintain normal telecommunications operations, except in waterlogged areas.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Water Resources allocated an additional 848 million yuan (about 118.9 million U.S. dollars) to support local flood rescue efforts.

The fund will mainly be used to assist local authorities' rescue work in flood-hit regions and will prioritize water facility repair and hidden risk removal efforts.

Early this year, the Ministry of Finance allocated funds in batches to assist local authorities with disaster relief work.

Also on Tuesday, the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee allocated 231 million yuan for rescue and disaster relief work in nine provincial-level regions, including Hunan and Anhui.

This week, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters has successively activated Level IV emergency responses to flooding in Shandong, Chongqing and Jiangsu, with heavy rainfall persisting.

China on Wednesday renewed a yellow alert for rainstorms, the third most severe alert in its four-tier weather warning system.

Some areas in Sichuan, Chongqing, Shaanxi, Hubei, Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Xizang and Yunnan should expect heavy rainfall, with certain regions likely to experience intense heavy rainfall of up to 140 mm within 24 hours until 2 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Meteorological Center.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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