China has warned of crop and animal diseases spreading as floodwaters receded from northern rural areas, while some cities struggled to restore drinking water supplies following the worst flooding in six decades, which killed more than 30 people.
Storms that followed Typhoon Doksuri last week flooded the province of Hebei, which borders the capital Beijing, with more rain than a year’s worth of precipitation, harming autumn crops and agricultural equipment.
As of August 8, the Beijing Daily reported that 33 people had died as a result of heavy flooding in the capital. The paper reported on Wednesday that 18 people were still missing.
Minister Urges Vigilance Against Disease Outbreaks from Deceased Animals
Agriculture Minister Tang Renjian stated that local authorities must increase their efforts to prevent and control major disease outbreaks caused by dead animals, insects, and other pests. He made the comments after an inspection of affected areas on Tuesday.
Tang also stated that waterlogging must be reduced and floodwaters from planted fields must be drained in order to minimise crop losses, and winter wheat planting must not be affected.
Farms throughout Hebei have been severely damaged, with many pigs and sheep drowning in floodwaters and crops destroyed.
“Agricultural and rural departments at all levels should accurately assess the disaster situation of farmers, help the affected farmers solve practical difficulties, and prevent disaster-caused poverty or a return to poverty,” Tang said in a statement posted on the ministry website.
Workers in hazmat suits sprayed disinfectant in built-up areas in Zhuozhou, the worst-affected city in Hebei, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
Tens of thousands of people were left without access to clean water in some rural areas and in Hebei cities such as Shijiazhuang, where floods destroyed water pipes and wells.
The Ministry of Water Resources has declared an emergency response to quickly restore drinking water supplies, including the installation of supply points and the dispatching of water trucks.
Source: The Guardian