People longing for normal life as downpours continue to lash southern China

08:24, June 20, 2011      

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Ye Xiaolong, wearing a pair of water-proof pants, was busy draining floodwaters from his house in the village of Shexi in east China's Zhejiang Province.

Ye told Xinhua that he got up at 4 a.m., as he estimated the flood would ebb then. "We want to clean our home as soon as possible. We're dying to get back to normal life."

Like Ye, many people in Zhejiang, are looking forward to a normal life. Downpours have constantly battered the province since June 3.

Although a new round of heavy rain began pounding Zhejiang on Saturday afternoon, many stores in the township of Huabu have reopened after they were forced to close because of the previous downpour on Thursday.

The owner of a home textile store in Huabu, surnamed Chen, said he had lost more than 200,000 yuan due to the suspension of business. "I can't wait anymore," he said, while placing goods on the shelves.

Heavy rains and ensuing floods have continued to plague southern parts of China, affecting millions of people and hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland.

Data from the flood control headquarters of Zhejiang showed that by Sunday morning, 2.66 million people had been affected by continuous rainstorms in 545 townships of 50 counties under nine cities in the province. A total of 171,000 hectares of crops were destroyed and 989 enterprises were shut down, incurring 4.96 billion yuan (751.5 million U.S. dollars) in direct economic losses.

Persistent downpours caused a mudslide in Changshan County on Sunday at noon, which flushed several local homes at Longtan Village of Tianma Town, killing two and leaving two missing.

Since June 3, about 150,000 people living under threats of geological disasters in Zhejiang have been transferred to safe places, said the flood control headquarters.

According to the provincial bureau of civil affairs of central Hubei, heavy rain from Friday to Saturday killed at least two in the province, with two more missing. A total of 3.01 million local residents in 31 counties were affected by the rain. Around 24,400 people have been evacuated and 261,200 hectares of crops were damaged. A total of 2,194 homes collapsed and 5,077 more were damaged. Approximately 730 million yuan in economic losses have been incurred.

Over the two days, downpours lashed Yichang, where the mammoth Three Gorges water control program is located, affecting 278,200 people and 21,500 hectares of crops.

In the neighboring Hunan Province, more than 10,000 people in three counties have been evacuated from floods-battered areas.

The downpours also caused the water levels in 44 reservoirs in Hunan to exceed alarming levels.

Forty-four counties in Jiangxi Province also suffered heavy rains from Saturday to Sunday, with a precipitation of 179 mm in the city of Leping and 155 mm in the city of Dexing, according to the provincial flood control headquarters.

The rainstorms and flood stranded 23,759 people in Dexing Saturday night. By Sunday afternoon, 22,861 of them had been evacuated.

Source: Xinhua
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