Extreme Weather Hits China with Massive Floods and Scorching Heat


HONG KONG — China is grappling with extreme weather emergencies across the country, with the worst flooding in decades flooding homes and cars in the south, while record high heatwaves in the northern and central provinces are causing roads to collapse.

Water levels in more than a hundred rivers across the country have risen above flood warning levels. People’s Diary, spokesperson for the ruling Communist Party. Authorities in Guangdong Province on Tuesday raised the alert by closing schools, businesses and public transportation in the affected areas, after days of rain and flooding.

The flood upended the lives of nearly half a million people in southern China. State media footage shows rescuers rowing on flooded roads to rescue stranded residents. In Shaoguan, a manufacturing center, factories were ordered to stop productionState television reported that water levels had reached the highest level in 50 years.

Guangdong’s emergency management department reported that the rainfall affected 479,600 people, destroyed nearly 30 hectares of crops and caused more than 1,700 homes to collapse, causing a total of $261 million in financial damage, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

China has been plagued by summer floods for centuries, but this year’s floods coincided with heatwaves hitting the northern part of the country, and heavy rain is expected to move in the coming days, according to the Central Meteorological Observatory.

Temperatures reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday in nine northern and central cities. Roadside surface temperatures of up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit in Henan created cracks in concrete roads reminiscent of an earthquake last week, according to local media reports.

The scorching heat in some of China’s most populous provinces has boosted demand for air conditioning, resulting in record electricity use. In Shandong, a province of 100 million inhabitants in northeastern China, state television said the maximum electrical load reached a record 92.94 million kilowatts on Tuesday, surpassing a 2020 high of 90.22 million kilowatts.

While touring a thermal power company on Tuesday, Prime Minister Li Keqiang said the country must increase its coal production capacity to avoid power outages.

This year, flooding and heatwaves in China lasted for days and weeks, as last year, as weeks of flooding killed hundreds of people, caused power outages and displaced millions of people in central and southwest China. Zhengzhou, where flood waters leave passengers stranded in subways.

China’s two-way weather emergency reflects a global trend. increasingly frequent and prolonged episodes extreme weather driven by climate change.

Over the past decades, China has lifted millions of rural people out of poverty by transforming farmland into cities. But while pursuing economic development, it has also become the world’s largest polluter, with greenhouse gas emissions exceeding all developed countries combined.

Xi Jinping has since become the country’s first leader to pledge to make climate change a national priority. China introduced carbon market to reduce emissions last July and over the past two decades almost four floors of green space in his cities.

But significant environmental damage has already been done. It is likely that the damage and deterioration caused by the greenhouse gases emitted already will continue in the coming years.

@Zixu Wang in Hong Kong and joyful Contributed to reporting in Shanghai.


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