Tens of thousands of people evacuated after China’s massive floods

Authorities have evacuated around 60,000 people from their homes in China’s most populous province after days of heavy rain caused massive flooding.

So far, 11 people are missing, but no casualties have been reported.

State media and online footage showed widespread flooding and rescue workers carrying people in lifeboats through waist-deep water.

Several major rivers have burst their banks and authorities are closely monitoring “dangerously high” water levels.

They had warned that river levels in northern Guangdong province could reach a “once-in-100-year” peak on Monday morning, but this had not yet materialized by midday.

Most of Guangdong province is part of the low-lying Pearl River Delta region, which is prone to flooding due to rising sea levels and storm surges.

Delta is a major manufacturing hub in China and one of the most densely populated regions in China, with approximately 127 million people living in Guangdong province alone.

In addition to the provincial capital Guangzhou, the smaller cities of Shaoguan and Heyuan were also the hardest hit.

About 1.16 million households across the state lost power over the weekend, but 80% had their power restored by Sunday night.

Continuous rain at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport caused flight cancellations and delays, and schools were ordered to close in at least three cities.

Dozens of homes in the province have been destroyed or severely damaged, with authorities estimating direct economic losses at nearly 140.6 million yuan ($19.8 million).

Trees are submerged in floodwaters along a pier on the south bank of the Beijiang River in Qingyuan, Guangdong province.

A river in Qingyuan city burst its embankments, flooding adjacent piers and roads. [Getty Images]

Videos shared online showed fast-moving torrents collapsing walls and bridges.

One Weibo user said the family scrambled to move furniture from the first floor to the second floor of their home. “Half of the first floor of my house was flooded due to heavy rain,” the user wrote on Sunday night. “I’m afraid the second floor will be flooded overnight. I feel helpless.”

“When I was driving home last night, it rained like a waterfall for an hour and a half on the highway,” another user said on Weibo. “I couldn’t see the road at all.”

Chinese meteorological authorities have warned that heavy rain will continue in coastal areas of Guangdong and neighboring Fujian province until at least Tuesday.

Other areas, including Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, are also expected to experience “moderate to heavy” rain.

After a series of typhoons from the Pacific Ocean made landfall in China last July, the Chinese capital Beijing and surrounding provinces such as Hebei were inundated by heavy rain and flooding.

That week, Beijing recorded the most rainfall in 140 years.

Aerial view of flooded fields after heavy rain in Qingyuan, Guangdong, China, April 20, 2024. China's National Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters has updated its Level III emergency response for possible flooding in Guangdong Province.Aerial view of flooded fields after heavy rain in Qingyuan, Guangdong, China, April 20, 2024. China's National Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters has updated its Level III emergency response for possible flooding in Guangdong Province.

Aerial footage showed widespread flooding and waterlogged fields [Getty Images]

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