Rescuers in China’s Guangdong race to save residents from flooding after heavy rain pummels province

Rescuers in China’s Guangdong race to save residents from flooding after heavy rain pummels province

Helicopters and rubber boats were deployed as rescuers raced against time to save residents from flooding in south China’s Guangdong province following heavy rainfall.

In the city of Shaoguan in the north of the province, where large areas are flooded and landslides have been reported, rescuers were sent to relocate trapped residents and transport food and other materials, according to Guangzhou-based news site dayoo.com, owned by the Guanghzou Daily.

Over 300 emergency personnel were deployed on Saturday to rescue trapped residents in six villages in the town of Jiangwan. At least six people in the villages were injured, according to online news site The Paper.

Mobile phone and internet services were restored in the town on Sunday after the landslide disrupted telecoms cables.

Another hard-hit city was Qingyuan, where water levels in some areas reached the first floor of buildings on Sunday morning and flooded homes and shops. As of 4pm on Sunday, more than 60,000 residents had been transferred from affected areas, according to Xinhua.

The most seriously affected areas are located along the Bei River, a southern tributary of the Pearl River, which flows from Shaoguan to the Pearl River Delta.

Shaoguan on Monday downgraded the city’s flood emergency response warning to level three in a four-tier alert system in which level one is the most severe.

China issues ‘once in a century’ flood warning for Guangdong’s Bei River zone

The city of Huizhou and provincial capital Guangzhou have also been hit particularly hard, prompting flood alerts and rainstorm warnings for four days in a row. Level two disaster warning alerts remain in place in some localities in the cities.

Over a dozen weather observation stations in the southwestern part of the province recorded more than 100mm (3.9 inches) of rainfall in the 24 hours from 8am on Sunday.

Provincial authorities warned that water levels in the Bei River were expected to hit “once in a century” levels after another flood earlier this month. They later downgraded the warning, saying water would reach “once in 50 years” levels. As of Monday, they had yet to confirm the level of flooding.

Provincial party secretary Huang Kunming and governor Wang Weizhong on Sunday visited Shaoguan city and held meetings with regional emergency management offices, regional newspaper Nanfang Daily reported.

They also visited the city’s Mengzhou dam along the Bei River and a primary school in Longgui town where residents have been staying since flooding hit their homes.

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