A leading weather expert has warned China may face an
apocalyptic summer of severe drought and floods.
Qin Dahe, top official of the China Meteorological
Administration, called for early preparedness across the country as
the flood season approaches.
He warned: "China may face a grim situation from seasonal floods
or drought this year with potential damage -- worse than that
of last year."
He added: "There will be much fear of a bad harvest this year if
more disasters occur in the following months."
Qin was speaking during a national televised conference on
summer weather forecasting and services.
Probabilities of such disasters are increasing, he warned,
quoting the latest predictions released yesterday.
The rainy season has started in parts of south China while the
national major flood season will follow soon.
"From June to August, two massive rain belts are predicted from
the south along the Yangtze River to north on the middle and upper
reaches of the Yellow River," Qin said.
In the north, the rain belt is likely to cover the Inner
Mongolia Autonomous Region, northern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous
Region and southern parts of northeast China.
In the south, the rain belt may linger over the Yunnan-Guizhou
Plateau, vast areas between the Huaihe and Yangtze rivers, and
regions south of the Yangtze with potential flooding likely to hit
the middle and lower reaches.
Meanwhile, prolonged drought may scorch the rest of the country
with less rainfall expected in many areas, "particularly the
northeastern Sichuan Province and western parts of the Tibet
Autonomous Region," said Qin.
Another hot summer is expected, particularly on the southern
Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and along southeast China's coastal
So far this year, temperatures in east China have been lower
than the average with more rainfall in most of the south.
Most of western and northeast China as well as parts of south
China's Guangdong and Hainan provinces have been plunged into the
worst drought in 50 years due to a rapid rise in temperature.
Provinces in central, east, south and southwest China have been
hit recently by rain and thunderstorms. Five people were stuck by
lightning and killed during the May Day holidays. Gales and
hailstorms have struck other areas.
Geologic hazards like mud-rock landslides caused by heavy and
prolonged rains have caused casualties and considerable losses of
crops and property running into millions of yuan in southwest
China's Sichuan and Chongqing.
(China Daily May 10, 2005)