China – Thousands Evacuate Floods in Sichuan Province

Heavy rain affected Sichuan Province in South West China from 15 August, causing flooding along the Yangtze river and its tributaries, and resulting in the evacuation of over 200,000 people. Authorities say the Three Gorges Dam is facing the most severe floods since it was built.


Heavy rain began in Sichuan Province from 15 August 2020. Mianzhu in Deyang, Sichuan province, recorded 302.6mm of rain in 24 hours to 16 August. Beichuan, Mianyang City, recorded 266.6mm and Longquanyi District in Chengdu 264.3mm during the same period.

By 16 August over 30 rivers in the province were above warning levels. Around 60,000 people were evacuated in areas of the capital city of Chengdu, and the cities of Deyang and Mianyang. Almost 120,000 people evacuated their homes in Neijiang the following day.

Reuters reported that the Qingyi river, an upper Yangtze tributary, had seen its worst flooding in a century, according to Sichuan’s flood control authority. More than 36,000 people evacuated their homes in the city of Yaan as the river burst its banks on 17 August. Media reported severe flooding along the Yangtze river in Chongqing on 18 August.

Three Gorges Reservoir

China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters to raise its emergency response for flood control from Level III to Level II in face of the the flooding of tributaries along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and further heavy rainfall prompted

State news agency, Xinhua, reported that by 20 August the Three Gorges reservoir in central China’s Hubei Province is expected to see the most severe round of floods since the dam was completed in 2003.

“According to a forecast by the Changjiang Water Resources Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources, the inbound flow of water is expected to reach more than 74,000 cubic meters per second after continuous heavy rain battered the upper reaches of the Yangtze River,” Xinhua said.

Over 60 Million Affected by Floods Since June

China has been blighted by flooding since June this year. In a statement last week, the country’s Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) said that 219 people have died or are missing and over 63.4 million have been affected due to floods. The flooding has caused direct economic losses of 25.78 billion USD, and damaged infrastructure including 54,000 collapsed houses.