House destroyed in seconds as China flooding worsens

·2-min read

Major flooding has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people in southern China, with more rain expected.

The manufacturing hub of Guangdong suspended classes, office work and public transport amid rising waters and the threat of landslides.

In the neighbouring province of Jiangxi, almost 500,000 people have seen damage to their homes and their lives uprooted.

Aerial view of a flood-hit township after torrential rains on June 22, 2022 in Yingde, Qingyuan City, Guangdong Province of China
Aerial view of a flood-hit township after torrential rains on June 22, 2022 in Yingde, Qingyuan City, Guangdong Province of China. Source: Getty

Roughly the same number have been affected in Guangdong, largely in the cities of Shaoguan, Heyuan and Meizhou.

The heavy rainfall has collapsed roads in some parts of cities and swept away houses, cars and crops, and more rain is forecasted for coming days. Chinese authorities on Sunday issued the year’s first red alert, the most severe warning, for possible mountain torrents.

A mountain mudslide in Guangxi province sent a house crumpling into the moving earth below it in a matter of seconds.

Journalist and China watcher Jennifer Zen shared a clip of the house disappearing in a matter of mere seconds, writing "many houses were washed away".

In Zhejiang province a little further north, rescue crews in inflatable boats brought out residents trapped in their homes in inundated villages.

Read more: Schoolgirl feared dead after being swept off bridge in record floods

China regularly experiences flooding during the summer months, most frequently in central and southern areas that tend to receive the most rainfall. This year’s flooding is the worst in decades in some areas and comes on top of strict Covid-19 regulations that have strangled travel, employment and ordinary life in much of the country.

Rescue workers evacuate flood-affected residents from Xinli village with dinghies following heavy rainfall in Shaoguan, Guangdong province, on June 21.
Rescue workers evacuate flood-affected residents from Xinli village with dinghies following heavy rainfall in Shaoguan, Guangdong province, on June 21. Source: Reuters
Hundreds of thousands of homes have been destroyed in the disastrous floods in southern China.
Hundreds of thousands of homes have been destroyed in the disastrous floods in southern China. Source: Getty

China’s worst floods in recent years were in 1998, when more than 2,000 people died and almost 3 million homes were destroyed, mostly along the Yangtze, China’s mightiest river.

The government has invested heavily in flood control and hydroelectric projects such as the massive Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze.

Globally, more intense tropical storms are on the rise as a result of climate change, leading to increased flooding that threatens lives, crops and groundwater.

Associated Press

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