Jul 5, 2016

Flooding in China leaves more than 100 people dead or missing

Taihu Lake
Xuancheng, Anhui
China
by
Agence France-Presse
Flooding on the roads in Jiujiang, China. Photo: Feature China / Barcroft Images
Flooding on the roads in Jiujiang, China. Photo: Feature China / Barcroft Images

Flooding in the Yangtze river basin in China has left 112 people dead or missing in recent days, with more damage feared from a typhoon expected to land within days.

About 16 million people have been affected by heavy rains that have engulfed vast areas near the Yangtze, China’s longest river, the Beijing News cited the civil affairs ministry as saying.

Water levels in Lake Taihu, close to Shanghai, are at their highest since 1954, it said, adding the area faced a serious risk of flooding if a typhoon hit nearby on Friday.

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Flooding is common during the summer monsoon season in southern China, but rainfall has been particularly heavy this year and many areas have been lashed by torrential rains this week.

Rain is expected to move north this week towards the Huai river, the Beijing News added.

China’s vice-premier, Wang Yang, warned last month that a strong El Niño effect this year would increase the risk of floods in the Yangtze and Huai river basins.

An El Niño effect was linked to China’s worst floods of recent years when more than 4,000 people died in 1998, mostly around the Yangtze.

The Beijing News quoted a meteorologist as saying rain patterns this year were more disparate than in 1998, diminishing the risk of a similar toll