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Record floods recede in Guangdong
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Record floods recede in Guangdong

The water levels of the Beijiang River and surrounding rivers have begun to slowly recede, and the lives of affected villagers were returning to normal in Qingyuan city, Guangdong province, on 8th of April, water conservancy authorities said.

But the water level remained high in the major rivers, with a high flow rate and fast velocity, requiring government departments and villages to pay special attention to flood control even though the peak had passed, said authorities.

Departments, units, towns and villages along rivers are also required to closely monitor changes in rainfall and flooding and promptly take measures to prevent geological hazards, they said.

Pang Guqian, chief forecaster of Guangdong's meteorological department, said the province's flood season started early this year.

"The cause of early Beijiang flooding is also related to the area hit by downpours as well as the volume of rainfall this year," he said.

The flow of water at Shijiao Hydrological Station in Qingyuan on the Beijiang River hit 12,000 cubic meters/second on Sunday, breaking the record of 11,800 cubic m/s set in April 1980.

In Baijia village in Qingyuan's Qingcheng district, flooding had not yet completely receded, but the water level was no longer rising on Monday.

Except for some low-lying farmland and roads that were still flooded, the houses where villagers live and the livestock they are raising in captivity have basically not been damaged.

"Many villagers moved to their second floors early last night when the flooding peaked," a villager surnamed Zhang told local media on Monday.

Liu Xueming, an official with Shijiao township, said his township made emergency plans several days in advance, including patrolling river dikes and gates, and evacuating villagers.

Meanwhile, the township government arranged a 24-hour patrol to ensure the safety of villagers over the weekend, he said.

The Guangdong Provincial Department of Water Resources also launched a Level IV emergency response for water conservancy flood control last week, and sent three working groups to Zhaoqing, Shaoguan, Qingyuan and Meizhou, where flooding hit the hardest, to supervise the situation and guide flood prevention and rescue work, with priority given to safeguarding people's lives and property.

According to a statement released by the department, 12 monitoring centers along nine rivers in Guangdong had reported water surpassing warning levels as of Sunday.

Flooding had affected 748 villages in 121 townships of 35 districts and counties, it said.

In Chaozhou in eastern Guangdong, the city's Guangji bridge cultural relics scenic area had to temporarily close on Monday to ensure the safety of tourists.

The Guangdong meteorological department forecast that heavy rainfall in the province would begin to gradually weaken starting on Monday, but rainstorms, thunder and lightning, and gales may still occur locally. They issued a reminder that the risk of geological disasters in the central and northern regions of Guangdong was still relatively high and required vigilance.

China DailyShen Yi

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