China's extreme drought turns to deadly flood

China's drought is for some a demonstration of how global warming could increasingly disrupt nature's balance.

    Torrential rain in two drought-stricken central China provinces triggered landslides and brought down houses [Reuters]

    After six months of crippling drought conditions China is now facing more extreme weather in the form of heavy downpours that have brought flooding to over a dozen provinces.

    In Hunan province, over 200 mm of rain fell in a 6 hour period - for the country that kind of rain is seen only once every 300 years.

    So far over 100 people have been killed in floods and landslides in just the last 10 days.

    In Maojiazu village, in Yueyang, the heavy rain caused a mudslide that wiped away 20 homes and killed at least 20 residents.

    Another seven people are still missing under boulders and dense mud, and presumed dead, the Xianhua news agency reported.

    Government officials are preparing for more landslides and flooding as water levels in some reservoirs have reached alarming levels.

    The China Meteorological Agency has raised its emergency response in order to deal with the upcoming heavy rain and to put disaster relief agencies on alert for more impending disasters.

    In just the next few days rainfall amounts are expected to be between 120 mm and 240 mm, with some isolated locations reaching to almost 300mm.

    This is on average between 30 and 70 per cent more than average for this time of year.

    For the north, drought conditions are still expected to persist until the summer monsoon rains reach the region at the end of the month.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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