Severe Flooding Threatens Guangdong, China as Rivers Reach 50-Year Peaks

Severe flooding in China's Guangdong province threatens over 127 million people, as rivers reach 50-year peak levels. Emergency response plans are in place, but the extreme weather highlights the pressing need for effective disaster preparedness.

Trim Correspondents
Updated On
New Update
Severe Flooding Threatens Guangdong, China as Rivers Reach 50-Year Peaks

Severe Flooding Threatens Guangdong, China as Rivers Reach 50-Year Peaks

In April 2024, severe flooding is threatening Guangdong province in China, as the Xijiang and Beijiang river basins reach 50-year peak water levels. The Chinese government has enacted emergency response plans to protect over 127 million people in the region amid power outages and heavy rainfall.

Local weather officials have described the situation as 'grim', with sections of rivers and tributaries hitting rare water level spikes. The Chinese Ministry of Water Resources issued an emergency advisory, forecasting massive flooding in southern Guangdong Province and renewing a level-III emergency response for flood control and prevention work. Guangdong officials have urged all localities and municipalities to begin emergency planning, including evacuations and providing disaster relief.

Heavy rainfall and strong winds have battered central and northern parts of Guangdong since Friday, breaking rainfall records for April in many places. The cities of Qingyuan, Shaoguan, Huizhou, and Guangzhou have been particularly hard hit, with dozens of hail and thunderstorm warnings in effect. In Qingyuan alone, over 45,000 people have been evacuated, and power facilities in Zhaoqing have suffered damage, leading to power outages affecting 1.16 million households. As a result, 1,103 schools in Zhaoqing, Shaoguan, and Qingyuan have announced class suspensions for the safety of students and staff.

Why this matters: The severe flooding in Guangdong, a major economic and manufacturing hub in China, threatens the lives and livelihoods of over 127 million people. The extreme weather events, exacerbated by climate change, highlight the increasing risks and challenges faced by the region and the pressing need for effective disaster preparedness and response measures.

The Beijiang River Basin is expected to experience a flood event close to a once-in-a-century occurrence, with hydrological stations along the river anticipated to reach peak flow rates nearing record levels. The Pearl River flood control and drought relief headquarters has sent notices to Guangdong, Guangxi, and Fujian to enhance early warning and promote flood prevention work for rivers and reservoirs. "The Pearl River Delta region is at risk, and authorities have initiated a level-three emergency response," stated an official from the Guangdong Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Key Takeaways

  • Severe flooding threatens Guangdong, China, with 127M people affected and emergency response enacted.
  • Rivers and tributaries reach rare water level spikes, prompting evacuation of over 45,000 people.
  • Power outages, school closures, and damage to facilities reported due to heavy rainfall and winds.
  • Beijiang River Basin expected to experience a once-in-a-century flood event, with record flow rates.
  • Extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change pose increasing risks and challenges for the region.