More than 140 people are reported to have died and Millions of people have been evacuated from their homes in China
Heavy rains since June have left at least 141 people dead and missing, forced nearly 15 million people to be evacuated from their homes in July alone, and caused billions of dollars in economic losses, according to the government.
Large parts of China were reeling on Friday from the worst floods in decades, as disruption mounted for supply chains, including for personal protective equipment (PPE), vital in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Chinese authorities issued more flood warnings for China’s Yangtze River on Friday (Jul 17), as heavy rains were forecast in provinces in the country’s south. Cities in the country’s central region along the Yangtze River — China’s longest river — have been inundated in the past week amid the annual monsoon season, with the worst flooding since 1998. Across the country, 433 rivers have flooded.
Wuhan, on the banks of the Yangtze river where the novel coronavirus emerged late last year, warned residents to take precautions as water levels fast approached their maximum guaranteed safety level. “Yellow” flood warnings were also in place for Jinsha River, which flows through Qinghai, Yunnan and Sichuan provinces in southwestern China, and Chu River in Anhui and Jiangsu provinces in the southeast.
The summer rainy season brings floods to China almost every year but the impact of the disruption they cause is being felt further afield, as Chinese goods become more important in supply chains of items such as personal protective equipment (PPE).
“It’s just creating another major roadblock here in terms of PPE getting into the United States – it is the worst of times for it to happen but that’s what we’re dealing with right now,” said Michael Einhorn, president of Dealmed, a US medical supply distributor, which sources disposable lab coats and other products from Wuhan and nearby regions.
“We cannot get product out for over a week, which is a very long time in our business,” he said, adding that the delays could last another two or three weeks. Wuhan, on the banks of the Yangtze River, on Friday issued an alert and warned residents to take precautions as water levels fast approached their maximum guaranteed safety level.
“We estimate recent floods in Yangtze River regions could lead to a gross drag of 0.4 to 0.8 percentage points on third-quarter GDP growth,” analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a note to clients on Friday.