As China grapples with its most intense rainfall in 140 years, the country is facing widespread destruction and flooding caused by Typhoon Doksuri. The torrential rain has already claimed 20 lives and has left several cities inundated with floodwaters. The government has launched extensive rescue and relief efforts to address the crisis.
Zhuozhou City in Distress
One of the severely affected areas is Zhuozhou, a city in the southwest of Beijing with a population of over 600,000 residents. The city has been submerged in floodwaters, resulting in massive destruction across an area twice the size of Paris. The Beijing airport was also flooded, adding to the challenges faced by the authorities.
Typhoon Doksuri Follows Typhoon Talim
Typhoon Doksuri struck China shortly after Typhoon Talim caused devastation in the country two weeks earlier. The successive impact of these powerful typhoons has amplified the damage and posed serious challenges for rescue operations.
Loss of Lives and Evacuations
The storms have taken a toll on human lives, with at least 20 people reported dead in the Hebei province, where Zhuozhou is located. The city shares a border with Beijing, which experienced its heaviest rainfall in 140 years, leading to 11 flood-related deaths in the capital city. In response to the emergency, over 134,000 residents of Zhuozhou have been affected, and more than one-sixth of the city’s population has been evacuated to safety.
Urgent Rescue Measures
Authorities in Hebei have declared a state of emergency due to the record-breaking average rainfall of 355 mm since Saturday, surpassing levels not seen since July 2012. As floodwaters continue to rise and pose a threat to residential areas and agricultural land covering nearly 650 hectares, around 9,000 rescuers have been deployed to Zhuozhou. Additional rescue teams have been rushed in from neighboring Henan and Shanxi provinces to aid in the rescue operations.
Challenges and Criticisms
The situation in Zhuozhou remains dire, with reports of water shortages and partial power outages adding to the hardships faced by the residents. Social media platforms have been filled with frustration and disappointment, as some citizens express their discontent over the perceived delay in rescue and recovery operations. Criticisms have also been directed at the lack of support from Beijing despite Zhuozhou’s role in managing floodwater discharge.
Mitigating the Flooding
In response to the floods affecting warehouses in Zhuozhou, Hebei authorities have announced the establishment of an additional flood diversion area along the Yongding River to alleviate the flooding. Despite the challenges, authorities are doing their best to manage the crisis and mitigate the impact of the ongoing disaster.
As the floodwaters continue to progress southward, authorities in Gaobeidian have evacuated approximately 113,000 residents. The typhoon has also reached the southwestern Okinawa prefecture in Japan, with projections indicating a potential northeast turn toward Kyushu, Japan’s third-largest island.
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