(CTN News) – Over half a million people were displaced by floods in southern China this month, while searing heat buckled roads elsewhere.
Experts have warned that extreme weather warnings in multiple regions are more evidence of climate change’s impact.
How bad are the floods?
The Pearl River delta in the south is prone to floods during the summer.
However, the National Climate Center predicts that flooding will be “relatively worse” and “more extreme” this year.
The ministry of water resources reports that water levels in Guangdong province “surpassed historical records” this week, while parts of Fujian province and Guangxi region also saw record rainfall.
The flood threat in this month forced more than half a million people to evacuate.
Heavy rains in Guangzhou and Shaoguan turned roads into rivers, and lifeboats were needed to get people to safety.
The floods caused more than a quarter-billion dollars in economic damage in the province.
What about the heat wave?
As temperatures soared past 40°C (104°F) in seven provinces in northern and central China Wednesday, residents were warned not to venture outside.
CCTV showed footage this week of cement roads cracking in central Henan province due to extreme heat.
As a result of the heat, power demand surged to record levels in several northern cities this week.
What is the economic cost?
China’s central economic planner estimates that extreme weather will reduce its GDP by one to three percent each year.
According to Swiss Re, China’s floods last year caused $25 billion in damage – the world’s second-largest flood-related loss after Europe.
On Wednesday, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang warned floods and heatwaves would affect production of staple grains, vegetables, and pork.
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