China Sees Record Heat, Flooding Displaces Thousands

China Sees Record Heat, Flooding Displaces Thousands

The National Climate Center in China noted that the city of Beijing experienced 9.8 straight days with temperatures exceeding 35 C (95 F). Such a record was last seen in 1961, which was when many people did not even own air conditioning or fans. Less than usual rainfall this year may be a contributing factor to the heatwave. The temperature has since moderated to 33 C (91 F) but is expected to reach 39.6 Celsius (103 Fahrenheit) in the coming days, according to authorities.

Further, more than 10,000 people were urgently moved to safety in the central province of Hunan due to flooding. The flooding led to 70 houses collapsing, 2,283 being damaged, and farm fields being flooded. Losses from the incident have been estimated to be at least 575 million yuan ($79 million).

In addition to Hunan, the northern province of Shaanxi’s Zhenba county also experienced the worst flooding in 50 years. This incident washed out roads and damaged homes, though no deaths have been reported thus far. The heat this year has been unusual, even though flooding is an annual occurrence in China. Eleven provinces, covering around half of China's land area, are expected to receive heavy rains in the coming days, particularly in the humid south. In 2021, more than 300 people died in the central province of Henan due to record rainfall that inundated the provincial capital of Zhengzhou.

The worst floods in recent history in China occurred in 1998, when 4,150 people died, mostly along the Yangtze River. To conclude, China is currently experiencing record heat in some areas and severe flooding in others. While authorities have been able to move people to safety, there have been significant losses due to the damage to properties and fields. The heatwave and flooding are likely to continue in the coming days, and it is important for people to take the necessary precautions.

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