China: Torrential rain continues to lash middle, lower reaches of Yangtze River

Beijing, June 25 (IANS) Heavy rainfall will continue to batter a large portion of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in China, weather forecasters said on Tuesday, with floods occurring in several rivers.

China’s National Meteorological Center on Tuesday renewed a red alert for heavy rainfall, the most severe in the country’s weather warning system, Xinhua news agency reported.

Parts of Jiangsu, Anhui, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan and Guangxi will brace for heavy rains from Tuesday to Wednesday, with some areas expected to experience maximum hourly precipitation of over 70 mm, accompanied by thunderstorms and gales, the centre forecast.

Following days of continuous heavy rainfall, the cumulative rainfall in parts of Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hubei, and Hunan since June 17 has reached 250 mm to 550 mm.

Some areas in Hunan, Anhui and Zhejiang saw strong rainfall of 600 mm to 758 mm, weather station data showed.

This round of heavy rains has lingered for a long duration and usually strengthens during the nighttime, leading to severe precipitation in a broad swath of the country, said Chen Tao, the centre’s chief forecaster.

The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River enter their rainy season in June and July each year. Called “plum rain” in Chinese, as it is the time when plums ripen, the rainy season features several weeks of heavy rainfall, wet days and high temperatures.

It is forecast that the “plum rain” will persist in these areas in the next three days.

Affected by the relentless rains, 22 rivers in the provinces of Jiangxi, Hubei, Anhui, Zhejiang, and Guizhou saw floods above alert marks from Sunday to Monday, China’s Ministry of Water Resources said on Monday.

The country also raised the emergency response to flooding to Level III from Level IV in Hunan, Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangxi, dispatching several work teams to assist local flood prevention work.

–IANS

int/sd/

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