Central, southern areas brace for more rainstorms

08:30, May 18, 2010      

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A new round of heavy rains started to pound Central and South China on Monday, furthering challenging flood-prevention work in affected areas, authorities said.

The China Meteorological Administration launched a fourth-level emergency response for major disasters on Monday to deal with the inclement weather.

As of Monday, rainstorms have killed at least 101 people in 11 provinces and regions, with more than 15 million people affected, China News Service reported.

The National Meteorological Center's chief forecaster Yang Guiming said the new round of rain began to hit the middle and lower valleys of the Yangtze River from Sunday night and is expected to end on Tuesday.

However, for drought-hit areas like Shandong province, the latest storms helped to alleviate the dry spell instead, said an official with the provincial flood-control and drought relief headquarters who only gave his surname as Li.

A number of other provinces spared from the current round of storms are also using the time to prepare for heavy rainfall that is forecast to fall from Thursday to Sunday.

Zhou Shengqi, a publicity official with Xupu county in Hunan province, said in a telephone interview on Monday that repair work on the county's 68 roads damaged in previous floods is speeding up. By Monday, traffic had resumed on almost 40 of the roads.

One road leading to a local primary school was repaired overnight and the school resumed classes on Monday, he said.

The county was severely damaged by floods triggered by heavy rains on May 12 and 13.

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