The Stream, July 6: Deadly Chinese Floods Cause Billions In Losses

The Global Rundown

Flooding across a wide swath of central and southern China has killed more than 100 people and caused billions of dollars in damage. The majority of India is now covered by monsoon rains, cutting rainfall deficits across the country. Heavy rains have filled a major dam in North Korea, raising concerns that water releases could cause flooding downstream in South Korea. Preparation and spending on flood defenses in the United Kingdom are woefully inadequate, according to a government report. A German shipping company pleaded guilty to discharging oily wastewater into the Great Lakes. Flint, Michigan will continue to receive water from Detroit’s regional water authority for another year as it awaits a new source.

“As the City of Flint continues to deal with the uncertainties and effects related to this man-made water disaster, having the assurance that the water rates will not be raised for at least another year is one less issue residents have to worry about.” –Karen Weaver, mayor of Flint, Michigan, in a statement following the announcement that the city will continue to receive water from Detroit’s water authority for another year. The interim agreement with the Great Lakes Water Authority was first made last fall following revelations about lead contamination in Flint’s water supply. (Detroit Free Press)

By The Numbers

128 people Number killed by severe floods across 11 provinces in China over the past week. The floods also caused $5.7 billion in damages. Reuters

6 percent Current rainfall deficit in India, a third of what it was at the start of June. Monsoon rains are now present across nearly the entire country, with the exception of some areas in Gujarat and Rajasthan states. Reuters

$800,000 Amount of the criminal fine a German shipping company must pay the United States after it pleaded guilty to discharging oily wastewater into the Great Lakes. KMSP

Science, Studies, And Reports

Government officials in the United Kingdom are failing to provide enough funding to maintain flood barriers and are not addressing the flood risks associated with climate change, according to a report by the House of Commons environment audit committee. The report also suggested that current spending on flood defenses is targeted to certain areas based on “political calculation”. Guardian

On The Radar

Heavy rain across the Korean Peninsula has raised water levels in North Korea’s Hwanggang Dam to near capacity, according to officials in South Korea. The dam sits near the border, and South Korea is concerned that water could be released without warning. Bloomberg