China: rainfall record for nearly 60 years on the Yangtze

Chine: pluies record depuis près de 60 ans sur le Yangtsé

SHANGHAI | The chinese authorities have mobilized the army on Tuesday to attempt to stop the floods, which have already been over 140 people dead and missing in the basin of the Yangtze river, where precipitation had not raged for nearly 60 years.

In the vicinity of the third river in the world record this year rainfall record high, said the vice-minister of emergency Situations Zheng Guoguang.

“Since June, the average rainfall in the basin of the Yangtze river are the highest since 1961”, he declared before the press Monday in Beijing.

The amount of water that fell on the period is more than 51 % of the average, he added.

The authorities are particularly worried about for the city of Wuhan (center), where the novel coronavirus has made its appearance at the end of last year.

But the peak of the flood seems to have gone through Monday, the metropolis of 11 million people, without doing too much damage.

The attention is now focused downstream on the Poyang lake, the largest in China, in Jiangxi province (centre).

According to the press agency new China, the water level raised by a hydrological station there broke a record set in 1998, the year in which the most severe floods of the past few decades killed more than 4,000 people in all of China.

Not less than 100 000 people have been mobilized to combat the floods in Jiangxi, including the military, first responders, and ordinary citizens, according to the chinese media.

About half of them are deployed around the Poyang lake, where many dykes have surrendered, according to the national television.

In the city of Jiujiang, where the lake communicates with the Yangtze, soldiers dressed in life jackets reinforced the dykes with the help of sand bags piled up to the height of a man.

Approximately 400 million people live in the basin of the Yangtze river — that is about one-third of the chinese population. The official death toll since June reported 141 people dead or missing.

Floods occur every summer in China because of the seasonal rains and melting snow in the Himalayas.

But the trend accelerated over the decades. In part due to the massive construction of dams, which impede in some places the lakes and the plains to fully absorb the flood of summer.

Environmentalists also point out that the rapid melting of the himalayan glaciers due to climate change, could result in flooding even more dangerous in the future.

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