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A man wades through receding floodwaters in a street in Zhuozhou, Hebei province, China, August 5 2023. Picture: KEVIN FRAYER/GETTY IMAGES
A man wades through receding floodwaters in a street in Zhuozhou, Hebei province, China, August 5 2023. Picture: KEVIN FRAYER/GETTY IMAGES

Shenzhen — Floodwaters from Typhoon Doksuri continued to deluge farms and cities in northeast China at the weekend, while authorities in other parts of the country struggled to deal with the aftermath of one of the strongest storms in years.

Almost 15,000 residents were moved out of the city of Shulan in maize-growing Jilin province, where one person died and four were missing, according to state media.

Rain has fallen continuously in Shulan since August 1, with some areas getting 489mm, five times the previous record. Bridges collapsed and roads were damaged across the city, state media reported.

State news agency China News Service showed images of waterlogged streets around factories and homes in Shulan, a city of more than 700,000.

The impact of typhoons is rare in China’s northeast, with most typhoons moving west or northwest after making landfall, meteorological experts say.

The record-breaking rains arrived in late July as the remnants of Typhoon Doksuri moved inland, battering northern China and causing huge floods, disrupting the lives of millions.

About 1.54-million people had been evacuated from at-risk areas in north China’s Hebei province since Saturday morning, Xinhua reported.

Authorities in Beijing warned of sinkholes and mudslides in the Fangshan and Mentougou outer districts of the capital.

Rainfall in the past week broke many records in Beijing and northern China, with the vast Haihe river basin hit with its worst flooding since 1963.

Floodwaters could take up to a month to recede in Hebei province, a water resources department official told state media.

China has long been aware of urban waterlogging risks, with rapid development creating metropolitan sprawls that cover flood plains with concrete. Extreme weather driven by global warming is making it worse.

On Saturday water levels in Zhuozhou to the southwest of Beijing began to drop, with search and rescue and flood drainage efforts continuing in Hebei province’s hardest-hit city, according to state media.

About 100,000 people — a sixth of its population — have been evacuated.

In Baoding prefecture, to which Zhuozhou belongs, record rainfall led to the overflow of 67 of its 83 smaller reservoirs, the collapse of more than 4,000 houses and the death of at least 10 people, the Baoding government said.

Nearly 300 bridges and more than 550km of rural roads have been damaged by water, the government said, with Baoding’s direct economic losses reaching nearly 17-billion yuan ($2.4bn) since Saturday.

In July Chinas direct economic losses from natural disasters surged to 41.18-billion yuan, more than the total for the previous six months, after two powerful typhoons during the month. 

Reuters

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