2021-10-12 06:23:09 Several killed, nearly 2m affected, as China’s Shanxi deluged | Floods News
Several killed, nearly 2m affected, as China’s Shanxi deluged | Floods News
Heavy rains in a coal-mining province add to growing concerns about energy supplies as the country enters winter.
According to state media, at least 15 people were killed and three others were missing after continuous and heavy downpours caused flooding in northern China’s Shanxi province, one of the country’s top coal-producing areas.
According to the state-run Global Times, at least 1.75 million people have been affected by the floods, with up to 120,000 displaced after 19,500 houses “collapsed.”
The report did not specify which areas of Shanxi were the most severely affected. The province is located west of Beijing and covers an area of 156,000 square kilometers (60,000sq miles).
According to the report, the initial direct economic loss is estimated to be at least $770 million.
According to the Xinhua news agency, the emergency flood response has already been reduced, indicating that the situation has stabilized, with water levels in small and medium-sized rivers falling below the warning level.
The flooding comes just months after record floods hit China’s central Henan province in July, killing over 300 people, and raises concerns about energy supply ahead of the winter.
According to the provincial government, many parts of Shanxi, a landlocked province with generally dry weather, saw record-breaking rainfall over the past week, prompting coal mines to take flood-proofing measures and prepare emergency plans to be “activated immediately in case of grave danger.”
According to a local government statement, at least 60 coal mines in the province have halted operations due to the floods, even as the country faces a power supply crisis.
Beijing recently ordered coal mines to cut no corners in order to increase production and ensure supply, and it announced that higher electricity prices will be permitted in order to boost generation.
China has been hit by widespread power outages as a result of record coal prices, state electricity price controls, and strict emissions targets, all of which have squeezed power supply.
Floods in northern China displaced 1.75 million people after three months of rain fell in five days.
More than 120,000 people have been evacuated from Shanxi, a normally dry region. Floods have destroyed over 17,000 buildings and wiped out nearly 500,000 acres of cropland.
Earlier this week, Xinhua reported that Shanxi received more than three times the average monthly rainfall for October in just five days.
According to the provincial meteorological bureau, the province received 119.5mm (4.7 inches) of rain between October 2 and 7.
An estimated 190,000 hectares (470,000 acres) of crops were also destroyed, according to the AFP news agency, citing the local Communist Party newspaper Shanxi Evening News.
The Shanxi Evening News published video footage of rescuers wading through murky waters and floating on rafts down flooded urban streets.
Meanwhile, CCTV showed workers repairing a broken dam and railway tracks that were left suspended in the water after a portion of the bridge they were on collapsed.