China’s recent floods bring death and destruction
It was only three months ago that southern China was suffering from its worst drought in living memory. Now the heaviest rains in over a decade are causing floods, mudslides and other destruction there, as well as threatening the integrity of the massive Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in Hubei province.
According to a BBC report, Chinese authorities have stated that the recent flooding left 823 people dead and 437 missing, the latest count including 37 deaths after a bridge collapsed in Henan province and a further 21 who are feared dead due to mudslides in Sichuan province.
From a separate BBC report:
Recent bad weather has killed 1,250 people in China, government officials say. The economic losses across the country are estimated to be more than $22bn (£14bn).
The Three Gorges Dam is the world’s largest hydroelectric project, but its recent water flow has reached just 10% under the dam’s maximum capacity.
From an Associated Press report:
Thousands of workers sandbagged riverbanks and checked reservoirs in Wuhan city in central Hubei province in preparation for potential floods expected to flow from the swollen Yangtze and Han rivers, an official with the Yangtze water resources commission said. “Right now the Han river in Hubei province is on the verge of breaching warning levels,” said the official, who gave his name as Zhang.
China’s monsoon rains usually slow in August, but whether this turns out to be the case this year is impossible to accurately predict.