Tue, July 07, 2009
China > Mainland

Torrents loom for south China

2009-07-07 02:33:18 GMT2009-07-07 10:33:18 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

Soldiers wade in the mud to clear rubbish Monday in Liuzhou city, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. Strong rains began to subside on Sunday in parts of Guangxi, such as Guilin and Liuzhou cities, but local authorities are warning of possible flooding as river levels remain high. [China Daily/Li Bin]

Floods from the recent thunderstorms continue to threaten the southern provinces of China, where the death toll has risen to 75 and nearly 938,000 people have been uprooted.

The torrents are expected to hit hardest in the battered Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, where more than 320,000 people have already been displaced.

The torrential rainfall has devastated in six southern provinces in China, including Guangxi. 13 people are reportedly missing.

The heaviest downpour this year has affected the lives of 39 million in 13 southern provinces, according to state statistics as of Sunday.

Downpours have wreaked havoc on crops, houses and inundated scores of homes and streets. Electricity in some regions was cut off by floods and mudslides.

The storms have caused approximately 13 billion yuan ($1.9 billion) in economic losses.

Huang Guangxi, a director in the general office of Guangxi's civil affairs bureau, told China Daily that 135,200 people in the region are suffering from water shortages.

Despite the rain subsiding in most provinces, meteorologists expect floods to continue to strike the southern and eastern parts of Guangxi.

"Tension is mounting as the downstream waters of the flooded Liujiang River flows into the Xijiang River and converges with two other waterways. The massive waterflow will likely hit Wuzhou city in the province," said Qiao Lin, chief weather analyst in the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).

Guangxi has received 31 million yuan and 2,000 tents in compensation from the State. Thousands of mosquito nets, beddings and cloths were also provided by the bureau to affected areas in the province, Huang said.

The six most severely damaged provincial-level regions include: Guangxi, Jiangxi, Hunan, Hubei, Guizhou and Chongqing. These regions have received disaster relief fund totaling 126 million yuan from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Civil Affairs, China National Radio reported.

A total of 5,200 tents were also dispatched to shelter civilians evacuated from homes in emergencies.

Floods with water levels climbing to 22 meters may arrive in Wuzhou city today. However, China National Radio reported the city has withstood severe floods before, including a 26-meter water level in 2005.

CMA's weather forecast said rains will strike the Sichuan basin and the eastern part of the Sichuan plateau this week, where floods and mudslides are expected.

Six passenger trains lines connecting cities in Sichuan province and the capital city of Yunnan province did not resume service even though rails blocked by mud-rock flows last week had been cleared on Sunday.

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