Press Briefing on Flood Control and Drought Relief

  On June 11, 2019, Information Office of the State Council convened a press briefing on flood control and drought relief. Mr. Ye Jianchun, Secretary General of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters and Vice Minister of Water Resources and con-currently Vice Minister of Emergency Management, and Mr. Tian Yitang, Director General of Department of Flood and Drought Disaster Prevention of Ministry of Water Resources were invited to introduce the current situation of flood control and drought relief and answered questions from the Media.

  Since the beginning of the flood season, there have been 14 regional heavy rainfall processes in China, with a cumulative precipitation of 163 mm, which is close to the same period of normal years (165 mm). Rainfall distribution showed a pattern of "more in the north and south while less in the center". As of June 10, 22 provinces across the country had been hit by floods to varying degrees, with Guangxi, Jiangxi, Fujian and Guangdong provinces suffering heavily. The flood-affected population in China was 6.75 million, 48% less than the average of 12.89 million in the past five years. A total of 83 people (including geological disaster victims) were dead or missing due to disasters, 18% less than the average of 102 people in the past five years. A total of 623,000 hectares of crops were affected by disasters, 32% less than the average of 917,000 hectares in the past five years. The direct economic losses were about 10 billion yuan, 41% less than the average of 17 billion yuan in the past five years.

  At present, soil moisture is deficient in some areas of North China, Northwest China and Yunnan, but the drought is relatively light in the whole country. By early June, 4.07 million people had been affected by drought, 17% less than the average of 4.91 million people in the past five years, and 640,000 hectares of crops had been affected by drought, 33% less than the average of the past five years.

  According to the meteorological and hydrological forecast, the climate situation in China is generally unfavorable during the main flood season, and the precipitation distribution is "more in the south while less in the north". In the southern part of the Yangtze-Huai River Basin, the southern part of the Yangtze River Basin and the northern part of the south China, there are obviously more rainfall than usual, while the eastern part of the Northwest China experiences less rainfall. Large regional floods will occur in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the Huai River, the Xijiang River and the Beijiang River in the Pearl River Basin. Local rainstorms and floods will take place in the upper and middle reaches of the Yellow River, the south part of the Hai River Basin, the Second Songhua River Basin and the Liao River Basin. Severe summer droughts may happen in several areas of the North and Northwest China. The number of typhoons landing in China in the whole year will be close to perennial pattern and the intensity will be strong. In addition, mountain torrents, landslides and debris flows may occur in the western mountainous areas of China during the main flood season, especially in the Sichuan-Yunnan earthquake-prone and arid areas. Generally speaking, the flood control and drought relief situation of this year is challenging and complex, and the task of ensuring flood safety is arduous.

  At present, the whole country has entered the main flood season. Government agencies at all levels are committed to the prevention of flood, drought and typhoon by means of further strengthening measures and sparing no efforts in flood control and drought relief.

  First, we will further advance the fulfillment of responsibilities. Adhering to territorial management and responsibility at different levels, various responsibilities at all levels shall be implemented in details. Second, we will step up efforts to prevent and control major risks. Intensified efforts shall be made to identify hazards of such disasters as dyke breaching, dam break, mountain floods, urban water logging, landslides, and debris flows, and patrols shall be conducted to guard against secondary disasters. Third, we will deal with the disasters of floods, typhoons and mountain floods in a scientific manner. Close monitoring on rainfall, water regime and typhoon dynamics will be conducted, and key water projects will be regulated in accordance with laws and in a scientific and sophisticated way. Fourth, we will do our best in emergency rescue and disaster relief. Targeting key areas, key projects and major dangers, we will build up rescue forces in advance, improve the rescue plans, enhance actual practical training, and spare no efforts for flood control and emergency rescue. Fifth, we will strengthen unified command and effective coordination. We will endeavor to mobilize joint prevention and joint efforts of governments at all levels, various departments, military forces and local authorities, and will give full play to the strengths of all departments to build a mechanism for information sharing, consultation and research, as well as effective coordination. Sixth, we will strengthen supervision and public communication by the means of timely releasing accurate and authoritative information and actively responding to concerns of the general public.