China: International Charter activated for severe floods

Flooding in these areas is likely to continue
Floods in Songhua River in 2005
Credits: NASA

On 16 August 2013, the China Meteorological Administration requested to activate the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters, after rain-triggered flooding had destroyed many roads and power facilities, affecting more than 2 million people in the provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin as well as the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

This year northeast China is experiencing its biggest floods in five decades due to continuous heavy rain along the region's major rivers with a rise in water levels of Nenjiang, Songhua and Heilongjiang Rivers over their warning levels. Moreover, according to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, over 1.07 million hectares of crops and plants have been ruined with direct economic losses to the country of 6.6 billion yuan (USD 1.08 billion).

Since weather forecasters stated that flooding in these areas is likely to continue, local residents have been warned to take precautions in the coming days while the authorities have been urged to reinforce a number of river embankments.