China is struggling with some of the most severe floods, in years, due to torrential rain. The water level has risen to more than 50ft above flood level. This has affected the central and southern parts of the country leading to a large-scale evacuation of people from danger zones. Communities along the Yangtze are facing the wrath of the annual monsoon season. In order to check the flow of water into the plains, the authorities opened three floodgates of the Three Gorges Dam. The dam spans the Yangtze and it was holding back about 45 percent of the water.

However, the situation is critical and it could deteriorate.

Sky News says floods have affected as many as 433 rivers, 33 of which have reached record levels. There was a warning that the country could witness record level floods. The ministry of water resources cautioned about the severity along the Yangtze, as well as a couple of lakes in the provinces of Hunan and Jiangxi.

The Yangtze River is an important waterway in China. It not only provides water for farming but also acts as a link for industries with the financial hub of Shanghai. This city is located on the central-eastern coast of China.

Efforts to check the menace of the floods

Floods are natural disasters and residents of affected regions joined hands to create makeshift barriers of sandbags and rocks.

Sky News says they want to keep the floodwaters at bay. Firefighters and workers filled a break in a wall on Poyang Lake to stop the flow of water. This structure had given way nine days back, led to floods in a number of villages including farmland in Jiangxi province. Authorities had to evacuate more than 14,000 people. This Poyang Lake is the country’s largest freshwater lake and formed from the overspill of the Yangtze.

Its level is also substantially higher than its warning level and is a cause of alarm for the authorities.

Loss of lives associated with floods

Sky News elaborates on the loss of lives and damages. There were 11 deaths in Chongqing and 3 more in Hubei province and this could increase as more details emerge. China National Emergency Broadcasting confirms this. More deaths reported due to landslides in the mountains of Chongqing. The floods destroyed many homes but major cities remain more or less unharmed.

However, a red alert has been declared in the city of Wuhan, the source of coronavirus, and a few other provinces. This is because of swelling rivers and lakes, which can leave behind a trail of destruction. In August 2018, flash floods on the East Coast of America meant the evacuation of residents and closure of roads. In March 2019, flash floods due to rains and landslides left more than 50 dead in Papua. Later, in February 2020, floods in New Zealand stranded hundreds of tourists.

Floods in Yangtze leave many dead or missing

According to The Jakarta Post, current floods in the Yangtze River are the worst in decades. People tried to escape to safety in boats or makeshift rafts as heavy rains, since June, have left a large number of people dead or missing.

In July, nearly 15 million people were evacuated and the floods led to the economic loss of billions of dollars. Infrastructure gets damaged and people might have to rely on Renewable Energy to meet the needs of electricity, Forecasters warned of still more rain and rescue workers engaged in repairing levees and walls to arrest the flow of water. Most of the rivers are beyond warning levels and officials say the current season saw the highest average rainfall across the Yangtze basin since 1961. Normally, summer rains and seasonal glacial melt in the river's Tibetan plateau result in routine flooding. In the opinion of critics, threats of summer flooding increased due to factors like overdevelopment and poor policies related to water conservancy.