Rainstorms to hit SW China as heat wave continues in the south

13:26, July 05, 2011      

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The National Meteorological Center (NMC) has forecast that rainstorms will pelt China's western regions over the next three days while the south will continue to see lingering high temperatures.

The NMC said that from Tuesday to Thursday, storms will hit Chongqing Municipality and some areas in Sichuan and Guizhou provinces, and severe rainstorms are expected to hit the northern part of the Sichuan Basin and parts of Shaanxi Province.

The continuous downpours that have wreaked havoc in Sichuan since Thursday evening have left six people dead, four others missing and some 27,600 people forced to relocate, sources with the provincial flood control office said.

As of 5:00 p.m. Monday, the rainstorms have leveled about 1,000 houses and affected some 290,000 people in seven cities and 32 counties in the province, according to the office.

A total of 36 monitoring points from 21 counties have recorded precipitation of more than 100 mm, while the highest rainfall was registered at 465 mm in the city of Chongzhou.

Direct economic losses are estimated to reach 500 million yuan (77 million U.S. dollars) as a result of the rainstorm-triggered flooding.

Rain-triggered mudslides have also cut off access to a pivotal highway in the province, State Highway 213, which links Sichuan with northwestern Gansu Province and southwestern Yunnan Province.

The highway was referred to as a "lifeline" by rescue workers following the devastating 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, which occurred in Sichuan's Wenchuan County.

Downpours on Monday morning triggered new cave-ins at the Luoquanwan Bridge section of the highway, which greatly hindered repair work.

Scorching heat will continue to hit the southern and southeastern regions, with the highest temperature expected to reach 39 degrees Celsius in some areas, and the heat wave will persist in these regions on Wednesday.

The forecast indicates that Beijing and neighboring Tianjin Municipality will also endure hot weather on Tuesday, with temperatures ranging 35 to 37 degrees Celsius.

Source: Xinhua
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