Home Disaster 45 already dead, 1.26m evacuated as Lekima ravages East China

45 already dead, 1.26m evacuated as Lekima ravages East China


Armed police, firefighters and civil rescue teams are united in their emergency rescue and disaster relief work as China experiences a rainy summer, with a record 377 rivers reporting alarming water levels and floods killing more than 90. 
Typhoon Lekima, the most serious natural disaster this summer, has claimed at least 45 lives and affected 8.9 million people across the region. 
By Monday morning, the death toll in East China’s Zhejiang Province had risen to 39 while nine others remained missing, said the Zhejiang provincial flood control headquarters.
The ninth and strongest typhoon of the year has affected 6.68 million residents in Zhejiang, among whom 1.26 million were evacuated. Typhoon Lekima damaged 234,000 hectares of crops, inflicting a direct economic loss of 24.22 billion yuan ($3.4 billion), the Xinhua News Agency reported.
More than 30,000 firefighters have conducted 6,177 emergency operations and rescued some 9,000 trapped people in regions hit by the typhoon, China Central Television (CCTV) reported Monday. 
As of Sunday, more than 1,300 armed police officers had been dispatched, rescuing 2,100 people and transporting 30 tons of relief goods in East China’s Zhejiang and Shandong provinces plus the municipality of Shanghai, Xinhua reported Sunday. 
Authorities have mobilized effective rescue and relief efforts, with firefighters, soldiers, policemen and government agency staff searching for those missing, according to Xinhua.
Besides firefighters and armed police, more flexible civil rescue teams are also playing a proactive role in disaster-relief missions during Lekima and other floods this summer, Chinese observers noted. 
Hours after learning the nearby city of Linhai was in need of rescue efforts, the Xiaoshan Rescue Team of Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang, organized a squad of 12 volunteers and arrived in Linhai at midnight. 
The team helped transfer some 100 people, including the elderly and sick, and distributed food and water to those who were trapped by the floods, said rescuer Chen Ying.

The super typhoon first struck East China’s Zhejiang Province Friday before sweeping across Shanghai then Fujian, Anhui, Jiangsu and Shandong provinces. Some 1.7 million people were evacuated to safer places. 
In Shandong, the typhoon left five people dead and seven missing, affecting 1.66 million people and forcing the relocation of 183,800 as of Monday morning, said the provincial emergency management department, Xinhua reported.
A total 5,300 houses collapsed and 531,000 hectares of crops were damaged, CCTV reported Monday. 
More rain and floods are likely coming, warned Wang Hongwei, a professor at Renmin University of China’s School of Public Administration and Policy in Beijing.
“But China has an effective system to deal with such natural disasters, especially after the establishment of the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) in 2018,” Wang told the Global Times on Monday.
The ministry maintains close contact with China Meteorological Administration for data and disaster prediction. 
Coordination with the Ministry of Finance and the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration also ensures that disaster-relief funding and materials are in place. 
The MEM and the Ministry of Finance allocated 30 million yuan for rescue and disaster relief in Zhejiang after Typhoon Lekima, Wang noted. 
Natural disasters killed 336 people in China in the first six months of this year, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Emergency Management. The disasters have affected more than 31.8 million people and caused economic losses of 76.3 billion yuan.
More than 4.5 million people were affected when torrential rains hit eight southern provinces in June, killing 49 and leaving 14 people missing, the ministry said. Some 300,000 people were evacuated.
Flood alerts were reported for 377 rivers this rainy season, said Wang Zhangli, a deputy director at the ministry’s flood and drought disaster prevention department.



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