Are Chinese Cities Prepared to Manage the Risks of Extreme Weather Events? Evidence from the 2021.07.20 Zhengzhou Flood in Henan Province

38 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2022

See all articles by Xiaofan Zhao

Xiaofan Zhao

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

Huimin Li

Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture - Beijing Climate Change Response Research and EducationCenter

Ye Qi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

On 20 July 2021, an extreme torrential rainstorm battered Zhengzhou in central China’s Henan Province, killing 302 people, including 14 individuals who drowned in a subway tunnel and six who drowned in a road tunnel. As the global climate warms, extreme weather events similar to the Zhengzhou flood will become more frequent, with increasingly catastrophic consequences for society. It is therefore imperative that cities in China and worldwide enhance their climate risk management. Focusing on the record-breaking flood in Zhengzhou, in this paper, we examine Chinese cities’ governance capacity for managing extreme weather events, concentrating on meteorological warnings and government responses. Our case analysis demonstrates the following weaknesses in China’s urban meteorological disaster risk management system: poor risk communications, disconnections between meteorological warnings and government responses, low risk perceptions of extreme weather events, and inadequate contingency plans. Accordingly, China’s current urban meteorological disaster risk management system is insufficient and must be adapted to the fast-changing climate. Chinese cities must thus strengthen existing meteorological disaster risk management system by streamlining risk communications, synchronizing meteorological warnings with government responses, updating risk perceptions of extreme weather events, and enhancing interagency coordinations and collaborations in emergency responses. Moreover, Chinese cities should improve intercity policy learning and experience sharing to effectively manage the risks of extreme weather events.

Keywords: Climate change, extreme weather events, risk management, emergency response, flood control, China

Suggested Citation

Zhao, Xiaofan and Li, Huimin and Qi, Ye, Are Chinese Cities Prepared to Manage the Risks of Extreme Weather Events? Evidence from the 2021.07.20 Zhengzhou Flood in Henan Province. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4043303 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4043303

Xiaofan Zhao (Contact Author)

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) ( email )

Huimin Li

Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture - Beijing Climate Change Response Research and EducationCenter ( email )

Beijing
China

Ye Qi

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
297
Abstract Views
988
Rank
192,808
PlumX Metrics