Floods in southern China have taken a heavy toll, with 199 lives lost and at least 123 people currently reported missing. The Ministry of Civil Affairs has indicated that 2.37 million people have been forced to evacuate from low lying areas of ten provinces: Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan and Guizhou.
The regions infrastructure has been severely affected, with roads washed away by flash flooding and landslides. Today, Tuesday 22nd June, it is estimated that 195,000 houses have collapsed and close to 1,600,000 hectares of farmland have been flooded. The disaster follows torrential rain that has battered the region for the past week. As rescuers work to save lives, the Chinese National Meteorological Centre issued a warning that rainfall would increase in intensity from Wednesday to Saturday. A statement on their website said “The scope and intensity of the rain have increased, In parts of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Henan, Guangxi and other areas of the south, the rainfall will be 100-180 millimetres. In other parts, the rainfall will be more than 200 millimetres.”
Train service to affected areas have been cancelled leaving thousands of passengers stranded around the country.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office is urging British nationals to obtain, up to date, information before considering travel to these Southern Chinese provinces. However, the overall level of advice for China, so far, remains unchanged.