Heavy downpours to hit central, south China again

13:59, June 13, 2011      

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A new round of downpours is set to batter central and southern China in the next several days, local authorities said on Monday.

According to the flood control and drought relief headquarters of Hunan, torrential rain will sweep the central province from north to south from Monday evening and will last to Friday.

Bai Chaohai, director at the headquarters, predicts the rainfall from Monday evening to Wednesday will be from 80 to 120 mm, with the highest at 220 mm.

"Compared with the last round, this time the area to be soaked is larger and the rainfall will be at least the same," he said.

Bai warned that due to the drought in the past weeks, soil in Hunan has become loose. "The areas, especially the mountainous western parts of the province, are prone to mud-rock flows and landslides in heavy rain," he said.

Rain-triggered mountain torrents and mud-rock flows last week have caused 36 deaths and left 21 missing in Hunan.

In southwest Guizhou Province, 25 people have been killed and 31 are missing following last week's torrential rains, and a new round of downpours is expected to plague the province starting Monday night.

The provincial meteorological station asked local governments to closely monitor the reservoirs. It also warned industries with inflammable and explosive material to take precautions and warned people to stay away from lightening-prone structures.

In southeast Fujian Province, just affected by tropical storm Sarika, rainfall in the last 24 hours has reached 50 to 80 mm. Seven people were killed in the ensuing landslide, and the water level in two hydrologic stations has exceeded the warning line.

In central Hubei Province, where more than 100 roads flooded and some 40 bridges damaged, local people are racing to restore traffic.

Heavy rain and the subsequent geographical disasters have wreaked havoc in Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Fujian, and Guizhou provinces, killing more than 100 people.

Source: Xinhua
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