China: South inundated by rain as north bakes under heatwave in double whammy
As millions turned to air conditioners to escape the oppressive temperatures in northern and central China, floodwaters in the south buried villages and stranded city dwellers, according to the Associated Press.
Despite heatwaves pushing up the demand for electricity in north and central China to record levels, heavy rains continued to flood towns in southern and eastern China on Wednesday, destroying crops and infrastructure, trapping citizens, and causing landslides, according to reports.
According to state media, the water resources ministry said that up to 113 rivers in China were flowing beyond the danger threshold, including seven above historical levels.
As additional rain was predicted to fall in the next days, the military and emergency personnel evacuated thousands of people from the flooded provinces.
The Associated Press cited a report in the state-run Xinhua news agency that stated that torrential rains in Guangdong had an impact on 479,600 people, 27,13 hectares (67 acres) of crops, and caused the collapse of 1,729 dwellings, resulting in an economic loss of 1.756 billion yuan ($261 million).
According to Xinhua, a railway bridge in a city in Jiaxngxi province was being reinforced with “loaded freight train carriages weighing about 960” tonnes.
In afflicted cities, days of torrential rain have caused numerous roads to collapse or be washed away, washing away homes, automobiles, and even large vehicles.
The most extreme warning, known as a “red alert,” was issued by Chinese authorities last week in various locations, cautioning locals to be on the lookout for potential landslides and mountain torrents.
The Associated Press said that rescue teams on inflatable boats helped residents stuck in their homes in swamped villages in Zhejiang province, north of Guangdong.
In the midst of a heatwave in the central and northern provinces, state media stated that the demand for power in several Chinese communities has reached new heights.
According to State Grid Corp. of China, the total demand for electricity this month has reached 844 million kilowatts, up 8.81 percent and 3.21 percent, respectively, over the same time last year in Northwest China and North China.
According to People’s Daily, the mouthpiece for the Communist Party of China, power demand has increased as temperatures rise and houses and businesses turn up their air conditioning.
China’s national observatory has issued a new caution for high temperatures for 12 provinces and areas, with some expecting temperatures to reach or above 40 degrees Celsius, including Shandong province in the east and Hebei province in the north.
According to a state media summary released late on Tuesday, Premier Li Keqiang stated that China must enhance coal production capacity to “resolutely prevent power shortages” while visiting a thermal power business in the northern province of Hebei.
The People’s Daily said that “a restoration of manufacturing operations after Covid-19 flare-ups were brought under control in locations like Shanghai” also increased electricity consumption in significant Chinese cities.