More unusual weather is in the forecast for the final three months of what has already been a highly untypical year of drought and floods, according to the latest seasonal forecast from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, the source of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) regional weather outlook maps (snapshot of the latest below; full map).
As northern China heads into its dry season, there is likely to be heavier than usual rains in central China between October and December (the darker green area on the map, left). However, in the south, barely over the summer’s floods, dryer than usual weather is in the forecast for the same period (the orange areas).
Temperatures are likely to unseasonably warm across the country, and especially in the southwest, though that stands in contrast to the prediction in August by Jiao Meiyan, deputy chief of China Meteorological Administration, that winter will be severely cold.
Meanwhile, rain has returned to Hainan, the most recent province to have been inundated by flooding, disrupting the lives of 2.7 million people across the island.
The flooding on Hainan following the heaviest rains on the island in 40 years has turned deadly. Authorities say one fisherman has lost his life and three others are missing, with more than 210,000 people now evacuated from 1,160 inundated villages. An extensive rescue operation is underway. Flood damage, including to the fishing fleet, is extensive. Meanwhile, efforts continue to deal with the threat of a potential dam collapse in the provincial capital Haikou. And as we have written so many times this year, more rain is in the forecast.
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Looking for some pictures of the flooding in Hainan, we came across this shot of a factory dormitory for 40 workers in Chengmai in the north of the island built out of 10 recycled shipping containers.
Using containers to create housing, offices, shops and even art galleries is nothing new, of course. In one sense, it is only an updating of the old prefabs, but it has gained a certain currency these days for being both environmentally friendly and cheap. And there are more than 100 manufacturers of container housing in China already. But container living doesn’t need to be drab as the view below of Container City in London shows.
Click through the picture to see the decade-old Container City’s gallery of photographs.
Given the combination of China’s switch from export-driven growth and its stratospheric land prices, we’d like to think that container housing could have a brighter future in the country.
A last hurrah for the rains and floods that have devastated so much of China this year? Some 65,000 people have been evacuated from their homes on Hainan as floods inundated more than 500 villages on the island that is the country’s southernmost province. At least two people are reported missing. Communications have been cut to some parts of the island with at least one highway reported impassable because of the floods and ferry services to the island disrupted. Rescue operations to reach 6,000 people stranded by the floodwaters are underway.
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The direct damage to farmland is put at a relatively modest 18 million yuan ($2.7 million) with 2,260 hectares of crops destroyed and a further 7,420 hectares damaged, according to provincial officials. but the total economic damage is likely to be at least twice that. Hainan is a tourist destination. The picture, above, shows surfers off the beach at the resort town of Sanya earlier this year, when water was enjoyable. This is now peak travel season around the National Day holidays. Visitor numbers are down by a half this year.