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El Nino brings floods in South China


05-16-2016 12:50 BJT

Forecasters are warning that China is likely to see a continuation of severe rainstorms which have been battering the country's southern parts, for at least the next couple of months. Experts say the strong El Nino event is the main reason for the rainstorms and floods.

Late spring rains are a feature of the climate across south China, but this year the rain has been earlier and heavier than usual.

Once again, this departure from the norm is being blamed on the - now weakening - El Nino.

"We cannot say all the extreme weather is related to El Nino. But we are sure that the phenomena will disturb the normal conditions," Zhu Dingzhen, senior engineer of China Meteorological Administration, said.

South China's Guangzhou has been badly affected by the torrential rain, receiving a citywide average of 47mm. And Panyu district recorded 165mm in less than 24 hours.

"The water reached waist deep. "

"It's water everywhere.  "

Rivers in Yangshuo county, in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, swelled after persistent rainstorms. Floods made the famous tourist resort a county of water.

"The water is really deep. It reaches this place on my leg."

Over 300,000 people have been affected by floods in Guangxi since May 4, causing one death and one missing person.

Since March, south China has seen at least 12 rounds of heavy rain. 

There are concerns that the flooding will follow a similar pattern to that which occurred during the last major El Nino, in 1997-98.

Then, torrential rain and flooding, which began in June and lasted for more than two months, resulted in the deaths of more than 3,000 people, and affected 220 million across 24 provinces.

Currently, river levels in the south are at record levels for this time of year.

Many sections of the Yangtze River, Asia’s longest river, are between 3.3 and 4.1 meters higher than normal - even higher than at the same time in 1998.


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