Tornados and torrential rains killed at least 30 people as storms battered eastern China earlier this week, with millions more affected by flooding and other storm damage, state media and officials said yesterday.
A tornado smashed through the town of Dafeng, in Jiangsu Province, killing three people, the official newspaper China Daily reported.
A total of 27 people were reported dead in Jiangsu, west of Shanghai, and about 40,000 were evacuated an official from the Jiangsu Civil Affairs Bureau said in a phone interview.
Newspapers showed residents using makeshift rafts to ferry through streets flooded chest-high.
In total, more than 13 million people were affected by the storms, reports said.
From June 21-July 5, Jiangsu had four times the usual amount of rainfall, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing provincial meteorological officials.
In neighboring Anhui Province, another three people were killed, said an official at the local Civil Affairs Bureau.
More than 40,000 people were displaced along the flood-prone Huai River, he said.
Earlier this week, the government reported that flooding, landslides and other weather-related disasters killed at least 349 people in China in June.
The official Xinhua news agency said that another 99 people were still missing, while damage was estimated at 20 billion yuan (US$2.5 billion).
China suffers hundreds of rain deaths every summer. The impact of flooding has been worsened by heavy farming and tree-cutting that left cleared hillsides unable to trap rain. Major cities are shielded by flood dikes but small towns, especially in mountainous areas, are vulnerable to deadly flash floods.
China is expected to suffer from more typhoons than usual this year due to an unusually warm current off its Pacific and high temperatures over the Tibetan plateau.
HOUSES FLOODED: The ground shook in Tonga as explosions were heard, followed by gushing water and pelting rocks, sending people running to higher ground A massive volcanic eruption in Tonga that triggered tsunami waves around the Pacific caused “significant damage” to the island nation’s capital and smothered it in dust, but the full extent was not apparent with communications still cut off yesterday. The eruption on Saturday was so powerful that it was recorded around the world, triggering a tsunami that flooded Pacific coastlines from Japan to the US. Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, suffered “significant” damage, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, adding that there had been no reports of injury or death, but a full assessment was not possible with communication lines down. “The tsunami has
Two years ago, Qi Jiayao visited his mother’s hometown of Shaoxing in eastern China. When he tried to speak to his cousin’s children in the local dialect, Qi was surprised. “None of them was able to,” said the 38-year-old linguist, who teaches Mandarin in Mexico. The decline in local dialects among the younger generation has become more apparent in recent years as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has sought to bolster a uniform Chinese identity. Mandarin is now spoken by more than 80 percent of China’s population, up from 70 percent a decade ago. Last month, China’s State Council promised to
PORT CONGESTION: Ships heading for Omicron-affected Dalian and Tianjin are being redirected to Shanghai, which does not have the capacity for the sudden cargo influx China has detected the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 in a second major port city, deepening concern that the vastly more infectious variant could spread quickly across the world’s largest trading nation, upending global supply chains. Chinese officials said yesterday that at least one person has Omicron in Dalian, a city of 7 million. A second person also tested positive for the virus, but the variant is unknown. Both are college students who returned home for the Lunar New Year holiday from Tianjin, where at least 137 other cases were traced as of Wednesday. Dalian joins Tianjin as the second crucial port city
DEMOGRAPHIC CRISIS: Beijing is attempting to address its population decline, including considering raising the retirement age and allowing more than two children China’s birthrate has fallen to its lowest level in six decades, barely outnumbering deaths last year despite major government efforts to increase population growth and stave off a demographic crisis. Across China, 10.62 million babies were born last year, a rate of 7.52 per thousand people, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. In the same period 10.14 million deaths were recorded, a mortality rate of 7.18 per thousand, producing a population growth rate of just 0.34 per 1,000 people. The growth rate is the lowest since 1960, and adds to the findings of May last year’s once-per-decade census, which found