Guangdong goes all out to fight torrential rain, flooding

Due to continuous heavy rains and rain-induced flooding, the southern Chinese province of Guangdong is going all out to protect residents and their property.

According to the provincial emergency management department, the extreme weather has affected nearly 480,000 people, destroyed more than 1,700 houses and caused direct economic losses of 1.76 billion yuan (about 260 million U.S. dollars).

The city of Shaoguan in the upper reaches of the Beijiang River, an important river of the Pearl River basin, has suffered serious damage.

After the flood peak on Wednesday morning, the water level in the city center began to fall. The ferocity of the flooding was evident — thick weeds wrapped around lampposts along the river banks and the yellow water level line could be clearly seen roughly a meter high on white storefronts.

In Shaoguan city center, residents could be seen cleaning up the mud and water from the ground floors of their homes and taking furniture onto the street to dry. Local market regulators are helping affected businesses resume work as soon as possible.

The Ministry of Water Resources on Wednesday announced that, in order to avoid the overlapping of flood peaks in the Xijiang and Beijiang rivers, authorities had opened 24 large and medium-sized reservoirs in the main tributaries of the Xijiang River to block flooding, and cut and shift peaks.

The main reservoirs of the Xijiang River have already impounded 1.4 billion cubic meters of floodwater, and every effort has been made to reduce the peak flows in its lower reaches, thus creating favorable conditions for the safe discharge of flooding in the Beijiang River.

The provincial emergency management department said Thursday the rainfall in Guangdong has weakened, the precipitation in the pre-rainy season has virtually ended, and the weather will be sunny in the coming week.

Flood control authorities of Guangdong on Thursday lowered its emergency response from the most urgent level I to level II, as the water level in the Beijiang River is slowing receding.

However, a new round of heavy rain is forecast to hit the Xijiang River basin from June 27 to 29, and the Pearl River basin is about to face typhoons, complicating the flood control situation.