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China steps up flood rescue in Wuhan

Wuhan - in foreground, flooded stadium, in background, skyscrapers covered in fogImage copyright
Wang He/Getty Images

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The local football team’s stadium has been completely flooded

Flood relief and rescue efforts have been stepped up in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has been hit by severe flooding.

Transport links and water and power supplies in the city of 10 million are severely affected.

Flooding across central and southern China has killed more than 180 people, state media have reported.

The Chinese premier has called upon local authorities across the country to be prepared for further downpours.

Media captionThe BBC’s Robin Brant reports from Xinzhou: “”The water…has cut off the whole of this compound”

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Wang He/Getty Images


China floods in numbers

  • 32 million people in 26 provinces across China have been affected by severe flooding
  • 186 people died and 45 are missing
  • 1.4 million people have been relocated
  • 56,000 houses have collapsed

Source: The Office of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, figures accurate as of 3 July


Image copyright
Wang He/Getty Images

Image caption

Transport links have been severely affected by the flooding

On Wednesday the Wuhan meteorological office issued a red alert for further rain and flooding. By Thursday, the rain appeared to have eased off, and attention turned to relief and rescue efforts.

Media captionDrone footage shows flooded fields and homes in Nanling, in China’s Anhui province

Chinese media is reporting that more than 600mm (1.9ft) of rain has fallen over the past week in Wuhan, the most ever in the history of the city, which is on the Yangtze River.

Roads and metro stations were inundated with water, and trains cancelled.

Caught in the floods – Robin Brant, BBC News in Wuhan, eastern China

The last leg of the journey home for some people leaving Wuhan train station tonight is on foot, wading through the water.

A handful of couples passed me as I stood, almost up to my knees in it, at the traffic lights under the highway overpass by the railway station. A few coaches made it through the temporary pond, as did a few lorries. But there was no rush hour traffic in the worst hit suburbs tonight.

There is some respite; the rain has stopped for now. But as I write this there are still cars driving the wrong way down a highway slip road because the rain has blocked their route.

On Thursday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang warned local authorities across China to be prepared for further downpours, and instructed them to ensure measures were in place to avoid potential risks to people’s lives.

He has been visiting affected areas in Anhui, Hunan and Hubei provinces and was in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, to oversee relief and rescue operations on Wednesday.

Amid the crisis, official figures for the number of dead have fluctuated. On Wednesday state television put the overall toll at about 170.

Image copyright
Wang He/Getty Images

Image caption

Some parts of the city are still submerged in water

Netizens are sharing images on social media showing submerged buildings and cars, and people wading through water up to their knees.

They are also sharing stories of people helping with flood control measures, under the hashtag ‘We’re mobilising against the Wuhan floods.’

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