Sat, July 04, 2009
China > Mainland

Rainstorms wreak havoc in south China; Beijing issues hot weather alert

2009-07-03 16:18:33 GMT2009-07-04 00:18:33 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Flood submerges houses at the Xinyuan village in Ruijin, a city of east China's Jiangxi Province, July 3, 2009. More than 60,000 people have been transfered due to the flood caused by heavy rainfall in south Jiangxi Province. (Xinhua/Song Zhenping)

People walk on a flooded street in Guilin, a city of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, July 3, 2009. Due to heavy rainfall, the water level of Lijiang River which passes Guilin reached 147.5 meters at 17:00 pm on Friday, 1.8 meters over the alert level. Some scenic spots in Guilin City has been closed. (Xinhua/Chen Ruihua)

Halted bamboo rafts are seen on the Lijiang River in Guilin, a city of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, July 3, 2009. Due to heavy rainfall, the water level of Lijiang River reached 147.5 meters at 17:00 pm on Friday, 1.8 meters over the alert level. Some scenic spots in Guilin City has been closed. (Xinhua/Chen Ruihua)

A water level marker is seen on the Lijiang River in Guilin, a city of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, July 3, 2009. Due to heavy rainfall, the water level of Lijiang River reached 147.5 meters at 17:00 pm on Friday, 1.8 meters over the alert level. Some scenic spots in Guilin City has been closed. (Xinhua/Chen Ruihua)

Farmers try to retrieve seedlings destroyed by heavy rain in Zhalantun City, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, June 29, 2009. Zhalantun City was hit by rainstorms continuously for 15 days, leaving about 47,000 residents affected and one missing. Up to June 30, 944 houses and about 25,300 hectares of agricultural fields were destroyed.(Xinhua/Jiang Feng)

BEIJING, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Rainstorms since early the week have swept a wide swathe of south China, leaving dozens people dead or missing and forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate.

In Jiangxi Province, two people were killed, three more were missing and more than 100,000 have been evacuated following the heaviest rain this summer, local flood control authorities said.

The rain damaged 178,000 hectares of crops, caused 8,231 houses to collapse, and incurred a direct economic loss of 1.31 billion yuan (191.7 million U.S. dollars).

By 3 p.m. Friday, average rainfall in the province was 97.4 millimeters, while the maximum topped 540.8 millimeters in Niedu town of Chongyi County. The province, for the first time in history, issued the highest level of rainstorm alarm on Friday.

Many reservoirs were swollen because of the rain, among which six were discharging water, while levels in the rest were under the alarm line.

In Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, four were missing and 11,845 were evacuated. The torrential rain also damaged 12,440 hectares of crops and killed 53,300 head of cattle.

Boats have been banned on the Lijiang River as water levels rose to alarming levels, Chen You, head of Guilin maritime bureau, told Xinhua late Friday.

In Hunan Province, seven were killed and one was missing in rainstorm-related disasters. The rainstorms damaged 113,000 hectares of crops, killed 6,500 head of cattle.

The rains also disrupted traffic on 79 roads and forced 152 businesses to halt production in Hunan.

In north, Beijing is plagued with higher-than-normal temperature and it is forecast to receive less-than-normal rainfalls.

The Chinese capital on Friday issued an orange alert for hot weather, the third of its kind this summer. Temperature in parts of the city exceeded 37 Celsius degrees Friday.

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