China issues emergency response to Shanxi flood

The Chinese government initiated a level four emergency plan on Monday in response to torrential rains and flooding in northern China’s Shanxi province.

The National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs have dispatched teams to help with relief work.

Seven people were killed and three have gone missing in disasters caused by heavy rain and floods that have smashed western and southern Shanxi province since July 26, provincial civil affairs authorities have reported.

As of Monday, a total of 483,000 people in the cities of Lvliang and Yuncheng have been affected by the disasters, while 123,000 people have been relocated.

Rain and floods damaged 31,000 houses and destroyed about 10,300 hectares of crops. Total economic losses are estimated to be 1.46 billion yuan (229 million U.S. dollars), according to provincial civil affairs authorities.

Provincial disaster relief and civil affairs authorities have sent tents, quilts and other relief materials to help residents weather the flood.

Level four emergency plans, the lowest level in China’s four-tier emergency response system, require the National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs to send a working team to a disaster zone in question within 24 hours and allocate relief materials within 48 hours.

According to the ministry’s working regulation on emergency response issued in 2009, emergency response plans should be initiated to help with relief work when natural disasters occur. The emergency response level is based on total damage and losses, as well as the number of affected people.

Xinhua