China has intensified its efforts at flood control and disaster relief in response to heavy downpours that have triggered severe floods in parts of the country, an official said on Friday.
A total of 487 rivers nationwide have seen alert levels breached, with 13 of them experiencing record-high floodwaters, Zhou Xuewen, vice minister at the Ministry of Emergency Management and the Ministry of Water Resources, told a press conference.
China has suffered from heavy rainfall since it entered the flood season, with national average precipitation reaching the highest level since 2017, meteorological data shows.
About 21.81 million people have been affected by flooding since the beginning of this year, with about 1.24 million people evacuated to safe places, Xinhua news agency reported quoting Zhou.
Responding to the downpours, China has dispatched 31 work teams and professional teams to assist with local flood-control efforts and deployed about 56,200 fire and rescue personnel to rescue and relocate the locals affected, Zhou said.
The number of people killed or missing stands at 40, down more than 70 per cent from the average level over the previous five years, thanks to efforts to ensure people’s wellbeing and mitigate the impact of the disasters, according to Zhou.
He also warned that heavy rain may continue to lash northern, southern and southwestern China in July and August, and urged local departments to take precautionary measures to ensure people’s safety and wellbeing