March 28, 2023
BEIJING – The Ministry of Water Resources has urged local authorities in southern parts of the country to take preventive measures against heavy rains, as the annual flood season has begun with short, local downpours.
Warnings were issued on Friday following heavy rainfall that began on Tuesday. About 370,000 square kilometers of the South have already experienced more than 50 millimeters of rain a day for three days, the ministry said in a media release on Friday, adding that the largest single daily amount was 194 mm.
This shows that China’s flood season began on Friday, eight days earlier than usual, it continued.
Forecasts indicate that the country will suffer from frequent flooding and droughts this year, with some regions experiencing more severe instances compared to normal, it said.
Heavier floods may hit the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River and the basins of the Haihe, Songhua, Liaohe and Pearl rivers. The area between the Yangtze and Huaihe rivers and the region to the south of the Yangtze may also suffer from periodic drought.
The ministry called for increased measures to guard against flooding in small rivers and mountainous areas, and for enhancing flood control for small- and medium-sized reservoirs.
Local authorities should provide faster forecasts and early warnings, and run more simulations, as well as draft contingency plans to ensure the safety of lives and property.
“Starting on Friday, the ministry will arrange for officials to remain on duty around the clock,” the release said, adding that river basin management authorities and local water resource departments should all adopt a flood control footing.
The alerts issued by the national meteorological authority for severe convective weather, which refers to sudden and destructive weather phenomenon that includes thunderstorms, hail, gales and heavy downpours, suggests a difficult flood control situation this season.
Small in size and sometimes only covering 10 kilometers, severe convective weather events can produce intense precipitation.
At 10 am on Wednesday, the National Meteorological Center issued its first alert for a destructive weather event this year. It then renewed the blue alert on Friday, warning that a vast stretch of southern China will suffer from severe convective weather events from Friday to Monday.
China has a four-tier, color-coded weather alert system, with red representing the most severe warning, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
The center said on Sunday that southwestern Guangdong province was forecast to experience short-but-heavy downpours from 2 pm Sunday to 8 am Monday, with maximum hourly precipitation of around 50 mm.