China Floods – Wettest May for 40 Years, Over 50 Dead, More Rain to Come

Provinces of southern China have endured the wettest May for 40 years, according to China’s National Meteorological Center (NMC). NMC figures show that the average rainfall in south China this month was just under 200 mm, which is 74 percent higher than normal, according Xinhua, the Chinese news agency.

National Flood Control and Drought Relief said that the levels in 28 rivers in the south Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangxi and Fujian, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, have exceeded warning levels.

52 Dead, 6 Missing, 250,000 Evacuated

By 22 May, as many as 35 people had been reported as killed in the floods and severe weather. since then the death toll has risen to 52, with at least 6 other people still missing. By 23 May 2015, more than 250 000 people have been evacuated to temporary shelters.

Sixteen people died in the collapse of a nine-story building in the city of Guìyáng, the capital of Guizhou province, following a landslide there. Seven people died when a bus skidded in flood water in Hunan province.

More Rain Forecast

More rain is expected over the coming days. The Hong Kong Observatory today issued a rainstorm warning, with the possibility f flash floods. All schools have been closed as a precaution.

China’s Meteorological Administration (CMA) issued a warning for parts of southern China earlier today, saying:

On May 26 and 27, there will be moderate to heavy rain in eastern Southwest China, South of the Yangtze River, central-southern Yangtze-Hanshui basin and western Yangtze-Huaihe basin. Northeastern Jiangxi, southeastern Hubei, northeastern Hunan, southern Anhui and western Fujian will see rainstorms.

Rainfall in China, late April to ate May, 2015. Image: NMC
Rainfall in China, late April to ate May, 2015. Image: NMC