Guangdong province in southern China has been one of the hardest hit by rainstorms, flooding and typhoons. Weather forecasters are warning that the region is likely to see more severe weather over the next couple of months from the lingering El Nino. Local rescue forces and the Disaster Control departments are stepping up efforts to face potential weather-related disasters head on.
Streets have been flooded and traffic affected... many cities of Guangdong province have been hit by rainstorms during the past few months. Statistics from the Guangdong hydrology department show that rainfall in the first 4 months of 2016 has been almost double that of last year. Guangdong’s flood, drought and typhoon control office is busy preparing for possible emergencies.
"In order to prevent potential disasters, we have created an emergency response system along with 43 other departments. Rescue forces including the military, firefighters and police departments are on standby. Should anything happen, all these groups will jointly work on search and rescue operations," said He Guoqing, deputy director of Guangdong Flood, Drought & Typhoon Control Office.
The headquarters has set up a video information-sharing system with all the branch offices across the province to improve efficiency. Guangdong province has decided to invest over 100 million yuan in this year's disaster control and relief work. All relevant departments were called together to have meetings to be alert and get prepared.
Most of the major rescue forces are well prepared for the flood and typhoon season. Guangdong Armed Police Corps have hundreds of rescue boats and other professional equipment ready for deployment if necessary. They have also come up with an emergency plan for potential disasters.
Deputy Commander Cheng He is in charge of disaster rescue work. He said they have made detailed plans in 4 major areas of Guangdong province.
"If there is a major disaster, we can deploy up to 10 thousand soldiers to carry out rescue operations. In addition to upgraded rescue equipment, we have also been conducting special training sessions for rescue teams to improve their skills," he said.
In order to guarantee the mechanism’s practical operation, Guangdong’s armed police corps arranged several disaster relief and rescue work drills in April and May. Weather forecasters warn that heavy rainstorms and strong typhoons are expected to hit Guangdong in the next few months. And the disaster control and rescue work has become a systematic project, requiring all related departments to take precautionary measures and work closely together.