Annual flood season set to start, with more typhoons forecast

As May arrives, city residents should brace themselves for more rain and scorching temperatures, according to the head of the new emergency management bureau. 

The city’s flood season is expected to begin in early May, Ma Jianhong, head of the Shanghai Emergency Management Bureau, told a local radio station on Wednesday.

Compared with last year, Shanghai residents can expect more rainy days and hot, scorching weather during the flood season that will last through September, he said in the interview.

Four typhoons impacted Shanghai last summer, three making direct landfalls in the city. This year, Ma said he expects an increase in typhoons.

The emergency management bureau is a new government department that was established last year to combine the functions of flood prevention, fire departments, earthquake administration and disaster relief.

Meanwhile, Ma said 65 people were killed in industrial accidents in the first three months of this year, up about a third from last year. Seventeen people died in fires in the period.

The bureau, he said, has carried out thorough inspections of over 800 gas stations across the city since December to prevent major accidents. Some 153 hazards were found.

Ma also said the bureau has ordered 16 chemical companies to halt operations because of safety issues.

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