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Highest flood peak passes Chongqing

(Xinhua)

15:36, September 21, 2011

CHONGQING, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The year's highest flood peak of the Jialing River passed downtown Chongqing in southwest China, devastating normal life in several riverside counties, the municipal flood control authorities said Wednesday.

No casualties have been reported.

The Jialing River is a major tributary of the Yangtze River, the longest waterway of China.

The water level of the Jialing surged to 179.77 meters when the peak arrived at Changtianmen dock in downtown Chongqing at 4 a.m. By 10 a.m., the water level dropped only slightly to 179.72 meters.

The water peak has submerged most trees and buildings along the river in Ciqikou, an ancient township in Chongqing dating back 998 years.

A statement from the Flood Prevention Office of Chongqing said that among counties affected, Hechuan and Beibei districts were worst hit.

By Tuesday afternoon, nearly 125 streets of Hechuan both in the city proper and along the river have been submerged, affecting 325,000 people and causing direct economic losses of more than 1 billion yuan (about 157 million U.S. dollars), the Chongqing Economic Times reported Wednesday morning, citing statistics from Hechuan's Flood Prevention and Control Headquarters.

The old quarter of Hechuan still remains flooded. In Heyang street alone, nearly 20,000 people in dozens of residential buildings are trapped in their homes waiting for the floods to subside.

Chongqing has earmarked a relief fund of 2.6 million yuan to Hechuan where 150,000 people have been evacuated.

The Flood Prevention Office of Chongqing said it expects no more floods for Wednesday in the upper reaches of the Jialing River.

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