Daily life returning in rain-hit Shanxi
Fifteen people have died and three are missing after heavy rain in Shanxi province, which witnessed its heaviest downpours ever recorded during the first week of October, provincial authorities said on Tuesday.
From Oct 2 to 7, the average precipitation across the province reached 119 millimeters, with cities including Taiyuan, Yangquan, Lyuliang, Jinzhong and Linfen exceeding 150 mm. Certain areas in those cities saw more than 200 mm, with the largest amount reaching 285.2 mm in Daning county, Linfen, said Wang Wenyi, deputy director of the Shanxi Meteorological Administration, at a news conference held on Tuesday in Taiyuan, the provincial capital.
Wang Qirui, director of the Shanxi Provincial Emergency Management Department, said rains have triggered disasters including landslides and flooding that have affected more than 1.75 million people in 76 counties and caused more than 5 billion yuan ($779 million) in economic losses.
About 19,500 houses have collapsed and around 120,100 people have been relocated to safer places. The rain damaged about 238,460 hectares of grain crops.
Thousands of people from a village near the Yellow River were also evacuated to make room for water diverted from the Fenhe River, a major tributary of the Yellow River, as the Fenhe River overflowed. The diverted water will ultimately flow into the Yellow River.
People's basic needs are being guaranteed and daily production and order are being restored quickly, officials said at the news conference.
Yan Goufeng was greeted by her pet dog when she returned home on Monday after staying outside her village for days after it was flooded during the National Day holiday.
The 55-year-old from Yanjiaying village in Shanxi's Qingxu county was evacuated to safety along with over 800 fellow villagers on Oct 5.
"Somebody knocked on our door around 8 pm on Oct 5 and told us to evacuate. We were told that the Wuma River had breached and water was about to run into our houses," Yan told ThePaper.cn. "I have never seen so much rainfall."
Fifty-six of the 60 coal mines that were shut down amid heavy rains have resumed production, and the province's coal supply will not be affected, said Wang Qirui, the emergency management director.
Among the four mines yet to resume operations, three with an accumulated annual production capacity of 3.6 million metric tons still have safety risks caused by the rain, and one with an annual production capacity of 1.2 million tons will resume operation after transportation is restored.
A major coal producer in China, Shanxi signed terms with 14 provinces and cities on Sept 29 to provide coal for them in the fourth quarter.