Heavy rains cause problems from China to Ecuador

English Section / 19 iunie

Heavy rains cause problems from China to Ecuador

Versiunea în limba română

Heavy rainfall and flooding have caused severe damage in southern China, causing landslides and making roads impassable.

Chinese state television reported that southern China's Guangxi region expected total economic damage of about 329 million yuan ($45 million), including from destroyed farmland and collapsed houses. Authorities in several provinces have warned of the risk of flooding. In the region around the city of Meizhou, in Guangdong province, east of Guangxi, about 138,000 households were left without electricity, state television reported. The water level in several rivers in the area had reached alarming levels since the weekend due to heavy rainfall. According to state television, Guangdong authorities have relocated 11,100 people living in risk areas near the dams as a precaution. Classes were canceled in some schools in the Meizhou area on Monday, and kindergartens were also closed. In Guangxi, residents were transported to emergency shelters. Footage shows people rowing through flooded streets in rubber boats and carrying elderly people through the water. Also, over 11,000 people needed vital assistance. A report from the Chinese meteorological authority stated that Fujian province, in southeastern China, was also expecting heavy rains. According to local authorities, around 36,000 people have been evacuated due to flooding, with days of heavy rain causing devastating damage in many parts of the province. The floods affected 12,350 hectares of crops, causing direct losses of approximately 225 million dollars. According to the National Meteorological Center, some parts of the southeastern provinces of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan and Guangdong and, further west, the provinces of Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan and the Guangxi region would be affected by severe rainfall or storms.

There are also problems at the other end of the world. At least six people have died and 30 others are still missing after torrential rains caused a landslide in a tourist region in southern Ecuador, authorities said. The disaster occurred in the town of Banos de Agua Santa, a picturesque area in the central province of Tungurahua, located at the foot of an active volcano. "Due to the rainfall in the area, a landslide of some magnitude occurred, affecting people and equipment", stated the Secretariat for risk management in a message sent to the media. The initial toll was six dead, six wounded and 30 missing. In addition, several spas were closed, as well as the main access road to the area. The rains started on Saturday evening and continue, which complicates the rescue operations. "Weather conditions are not favorable" for clearing the road, warned the state emergency agency, ECU 911. The sediments carried by the waters also put three hydroelectric plants out of operation, indicated the Minister of Public Works, Roberto Luque, adding that this "makes it necessary to interrupt electric current". In April, Ecuador faced an electricity rationing due to a prolonged drought associated with the El Nino phenomenon. The situation returned to normal at the beginning of May, with the return of precipitation. According to the presidential office, the heavy rains caused damage in other regions as well, with a total of 48 emergency situations recorded throughout the country.

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