In response to deadly flooding in recent days, Wuhan, China, upgraded its emergency response for flood control to the second-highest level on Monday, China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
Wuhan, the capital of central China’s Hubei Province and the epicenter of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, has been suffering from devastating floods since June 28, the Epoch Times reported on Friday, sharing eyewitness video footage of the inundated city posted to Chinese social media.
On Monday, Xinhua reported that “[t]orrential rain has been pounding the city over the past two days, with the maximum rainfall exceeding 250 mm [9.8 inches] from early Sunday to early Monday, leaving many road sections waterlogged and the water level exceeding the warning line in some places.”
Heavy rain is forecast to persist “until Wednesday” across regions of southern and western China, the South China Morning Post reported.
“In view of the current situation, [Wuhan]’s flood control and drought relief headquarters announced early Monday to raise emergency response levels for flooding and drainage to the second-highest,” Xinhua reported.
At least eight people have died so far in Wuhan due to the floods, the BBC reported on Saturday, citing Chinese state media and state officials.
According to the report, the floods stretch 1,000 miles across central and southern China along the Yangtze River. As of Saturday, “between 10cm [3.9 inches] and 50cm [19.7 inches] of rain [had] fallen in seven provinces” affecting 33 million people.
Over 180 people across China have died so far due to the floods and at least 45 people are missing, according to the report. The torrential rains have “washed away railway lines and shut down road networks.”
“Several provincial-level regions, including Hubei, Anhui, and Hunan, on Sunday raised the flooding response levels as heavy rains are expected to continue and water levels in local rivers and lakes keep rising,” Xinhua said on Monday.
Wuhan is located along the Yangtze River, directly downstream from the Three Gorges Dam. According to the Taipei Times, the Chinese government on June 29 “admitted that it had released floodwaters from its [Three Gorges Dam] spillways for the first time this year” after “videos of flooding in cities below the vaunted Three Gorges Dam surfaced over the weekend and residents complained that they were being sacrificed to save the dam.”
According to the report: “The Chinese government initially claimed that the dam was only engaged in standard ‘power generation’ operations. However, on Monday, Beijing finally admitted that the dam had implemented its first ‘floodwater discharge’ of the year and that a new wave of flooding is heading toward the Three Gorges catchment area, which covers one million km².”