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Storms Claim Lives, Destroy Crops in Northeast China

A huge crane was brought down in Wuhu, while hailstorms lashed Liaoning, causing an estimated loss of $28m to 17,000 acres of wheat, state broadcaster CCTV reported

Factories and businesses in southern China face a new threat this week as flood waters keep employees home and freeze transport.
Extreme weather has been a problem for people in China for some years already. This image shows people caught in a flooded street after heavy rain in Zhengzhou in 2021. File photo: AFP.


Extreme weather has been causing severe problems in eastern China in recent days, authorities said on Sunday.

Three people died after strong winds brought down a shipyard crane, as storms did extensive damage to large swaths of farmland.

The deaths of security staff in the city of Wuhu occurred after the 450-tonne crane keeled over on Saturday into the security post where they were stationed, the authorities said.

In Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province in eastern China, large trees were felled on Saturday, crushing vehicles and blocking roads, local media reported.


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$28m hail damage to wheat crop

Meanwhile, hailstorms lashed Wafangdian in the northeastern province of Liaoning, causing an estimated loss of 200 million yuan ($28 million) in damage as it hit 7,000 hectares (17,000 acres), state broadcaster CCTV reported.

A village on the outskirts of Wafangdian received 48.1 millimetres (1.8 inches) of rainfall in one hour on Saturday, the highest across the province, the Liaoning Meteorological Service Centre said.

And in the central province of Henan, a Chinese breadbasket where heavy rains have battered crops in recent days, the authorities announced 10 measures on Sunday aimed at increasing grain production, state media reported.

The measures include 275 million yuan for prizes to family farms and cooperatives to encourage high yield, CCTV reported.

These losses in the province that provide about a third of China’s wheat may force higher grain imports by the world’s biggest wheat consumer.


Rainstorms rock the southwest

On Friday, heavy rain hit parts of southwest China, including Guangxi, engulfing roads and partially submerging buildings.

China’s meteorological authorities on Sunday renewed a blue alert, the lowest of its four-tier warning system, for rainstorms in regions including Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan, Henan and Hubei. Up to 120 millimetres (4.7 inches) of rain was expected in the northern part of Hainan province.

With some parts of the southern city of Guangzhou flooded, rescue workers waded through waist-deep water to free residents trapped in vehicles, CCTV reported.

On a more positive note, while China burns more fossil fuel than any other country, it has been rapidly ramping up its spending on clean energy.

The country is expected to increase its solar power capacity threefold this year, to well over 100 gigawatts, as well as transitioning swiftly to electric vehicles.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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