How technology helps fight against floods in east China

Updated: 2022- 06- 17

Photo taken with a mobile phone on June 14, 2022 shows rescuers evacuating stranded people in flood water in Ruijin City, east China's Jiangxi Province. (Xinhua)

NANCHANG, June 16 (Xinhua) -- In Ganxian District, east China's Jiangxi Province, local authorities have dispatched a special task force -- fleets of drones -- to join the flood relief operations.

After discovering landslides and blocked roads, the drones sent the information back to the control center. Based on the information, staff of Wangmudu Township found some houses in Taojiang Village inundated by floods and immediately evacuated over 200 local residents.

Twelve such drone fleets have been dispatched to spot potential risks and collect information on rain conditions and rain-induced disasters to provide references for flood control decisions, said Zhong Yicheng, an official with the district's emergency management bureau.

Capable of a much more efficient patrol, the fleets have so far inspected 53 reservoirs, 43 hydropower stations, and 60 major mountainous ponds, he added.

A raft of new technological applications is helping Jiangxi with flood control as lingering downpours have battered various parts of the province for weeks.

More than 1.1 million residents in Jiangxi were affected by torrential rain and rain-induced floods from May 28 to June 10, the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said.

The extreme weather has caused direct economic losses of 2.65 billion yuan (about 400 million U.S. dollars) after destroying farmland and houses.

"Attention please, the water level is rising at the No. 3 monitoring point." After receiving the warning message on his phone, Ouyang Xin, a member of staff at Changgang Reservoir in Jiangxi's Ganzhou City put on a raincoat and rushed to the site.

"The flood monitoring system can keep us informed of the flood level in real-time and the flow of water and rain conditions, thus helping us judge the situation more accurately," Ouyang said.

The alert message is among a number of monitoring and warning technologies employed at the flood control frontline. In Nanfeng County, Jiangxi, an environment monitoring device stands like a guard at an area with potential geological disasters.

The equipment can monitor stress and changes to the shape of the ground. Upon detecting danger, it alerts surrounding residents through loudspeakers, said Xie Chenguang, an official with the county's natural resources bureau.

In Lichuan County, Fuzhou City, some high-tech equipment including underwater search and rescue robots, high-power submersible pumps and foldable water plugging walls are on standby, which can provide a stronger guarantee for flood control and rescue operations, said Ou Yinggen, head of the county's emergency management bureau.

China's National Meteorological Center on Thursday renewed a blue alert for rainstorms in various parts of the country. From Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon, heavy rains are expected to lash areas including Jiangxi.

China has a four-tier color-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe warning, followed by orange, yellow and blue. 

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