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Persistent rainfall in arid areas may cause floods, expert warns

By Li Menghan | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-22 08:41

Rescuers help residents clean slush in Southwest China's Chongqing, June 21, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

While recent concentrated rainfall has notably alleviated drought conditions in some of China's main agricultural production areas, a meteorological expert on Wednesday warned of potential flooding in such places.

"From June 11 to 14, soil moisture monitoring data indicated that the proportion of arid soil remained between 62 and 87 percent in the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Henan, and between 50 and 53 percent in Shandong province," said Li Yijun, senior engineer at the National Meteorological Center.

Soil moisture has improved significantly due to successive rainfall from June 14 to 16, with arid areas reduced to 45.8 percent in Shandong and 46.8 percent in Henan, Li said.

Over the next 10 days, increased rainfall is expected in areas such as Anhui province, Jiangsu province, Hubei province and southern Henan, with the rain belt moving northward, which is conducive to relieving local drought conditions, she said.

However, she cautioned about the importance of clearing drainage channels in advance and closely monitoring soil moisture to mitigate the effects of concentrated rainfall on dryland crops such as corn and cotton. She also warned of the potential risk of flooding disasters in these areas.

In Shandong, northern Henan, southern Shanxi and southern Hebei, drought conditions are expected to persist or even worsen with little rainfall, hindering the germination and growth of summer crops, she said.

High temperatures were seen in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu from Wednesday to Friday. There will be cooler temperatures over the next few days before extreme heat returns to these areas after Tuesday, she added.

While high temperatures may exacerbate drought conditions, she said the wheat harvest has been completed, and such weather is beneficial for drying and storing grain.


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