Xinhua, 13 July: A total of 433 rivers across China have been flooded since June, with 141 people killed or missing as heavy rains cause severe floods in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
The Ministry of Water Resources released the data at a press briefing Monday morning, adding that 109 rivers have exceeded water safety levels, and 33 rivers have recorded their highest levels in history.
Facing this grim situation, the ministry on Sunday upgraded the flood defense response to level Ⅱ from level Ⅲ. The national flood control and drought relief office also raised its response to level Ⅱ.
The water at 10 hydrological stations along the Main Yangtze River had exceeded warning levels, and that of Taihu Lake, which crosses East China’s Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, exceeded the warning level for 15 consecutive days as of Sunday.
Poyang Lake and Dongting Lake had exceeded their warning levels as well, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.
The situation in East China’s Jiangxi is among the severest. Hydrological stations at Poyang Lake, the main body of water in Jiangxi and the largest freshwater lake in China, have all exceeded warning levels, and at least four of the hydrological stations have exceeded the record flood levels of 1998.
Ye Jianchun, the vice head of the ministry, said at the press briefing that besides the Yangtze River basin lakes mentioned above, the rest of the great rivers and lakes are in stable condition. However, it is expected that the later rain belt will carry north, and northern rivers may see greater regional floods in the future.
The Ministry of Emergency Management said on Monday that a total of 37.89 million people in 27 provincial-level regions were affected, 141 people were killed or missing and 28,000 houses have collapsed. A total of 2.246 million emergency evacuations have been made.