Henan braces for new downpours

HENAN: As Henan province mops up the floodwaters that caused 73 deaths and affected more than 13.3 million people last week, it is bracing for more heavy rain from Typhoon In-Fa.The flood has also damaged 550,000 homes and affected 1.02 million hectares of crops, and 179,800ha were totally wiped out, said Zhou Xuewen, secretary-general of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Li Changxun, deputy head of the province’s Department of Emergency Management, said inspection teams had been sent to five cities to assess needs for people in disaster-stricken areas.

For communities and villages without power and water, or still inundated by floodwaters, authorities would provide temporary living assistance and speed up emergency repairs and drainage work to restore normal living conditions as soon as possible, Li said.

Greater efforts were being made to strengthen post-disaster reconstruction, remove garbage and debris, and implement epidemic prevention measures, he said.

Transportation networks in the province were returning to normal, officials said.

As of Tuesday morning, most Henan expressways were open.

Transportation authorities were making every effort to repair the damaged roads, the Transport Ministry said.

The subway network in Zhengzhou, which was hard hit by the deluge, remained closed, though all of the city’s public bus services had resumed operations.

In Xinxiang, about 75% of the public bus services had resumed operations.

River ports and piers throughout the province, meanwhile, had suspended operations.

The National Meteorological Center said In-Fa, which made two landfalls in Zhejiang province on Sunday and Monday, would bring rain to Shanghai and Jiangsu and Shandong provinces, as well as parts of Anhui and Henan provinces over the next three days.

The Henan Meteorological Observatory said while the typhoon’s path was uncertain, it would likely cause heavy rain in the northern, eastern and southeastern parts of the province until today.

This could place further pressure on flood control measures in the eastern part of Henan.

“The top priority of the province is to pay close attention to the typhoon, strengthen accurate forecasts and early warning (systems), repair water conservancy facilities, step up flood control works and make every effort to prepare for the second round of heavy rainfall,” Li said.

In a video conference on Monday, Lou Yangsheng, Party secretary of Henan, called for the province to be prepared for a second round of downpours brought by In-Fa.

Meanwhile, Henan’s flood control and drought relief headquarters issued an order requiring key facilities, including dangerous sections of water conservancy projects and underground areas such as urban culverts, tunnels and parking lots be placed under 24-hour guard. — China Daily/ANN

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