Record rains in central China caused severe flooding that claimed at least a dozen lives, turned city streets into raging rivers and forced authorities to evacuate around 100,000 people and mobilize troops to save dams on the brink of collapse.
Several highways have been closed, and more than 100 passenger rail flights have been delayed or suspended in Hebei province in northern China due to heavy rains and gusty winds that hit many parts of the province since the second half of Tuesday.
Hebei Province provides a quarter of all steel production in China and is the country's largest region in terms of metallurgical production. So far there have been no reports of force majeure in the supply of rolled metal, but according to analogies with Germany, such statements may follow in the coming days.
The Provincial Weather Service issued a yellow warning for heavy rainfall at 5:00 am Wednesday. The Hebei Provincial Meteorological Office, Water Management Board and the Provincial Department of Natural Resources jointly issued geological disaster alerts.
The Provincial Meteorological Disaster Prevention Center also released its urban flood forecast on Tuesday.
The Provincial Meteorological Disaster Prevention Headquarters issued an Emergency Alert Wednesday morning urging all provincial units to do their utmost to deal with heavy rainfall in the central and southern regions.
Due to heavy rainfall, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) on Wednesday morning issued an orange warning in many regions of the country, including Henan and Hebei.
As a reminder, China has adopted a four-level warning system for adverse weather conditions, in which the highest level of danger is indicated by red, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
According to the official Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered urgent relief measures to minimize human and material losses and prevent disease outbreaks after the flood.