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Hunan rainstorms force 172,000 people to relocate


08:03, May 15, 2012

CHANGSHA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- About 172,000 residents threatened by rainstorms in central China's Hunan Province have been relocated, local authorities said Monday.

Continuous rain has affected over 2.91 million people in 50 of the province's counties as of Monday, according to the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

Over 3,600 houses in Hunan have collapsed in the storms, which have also led to direct economic losses of about 2.87 billion yuan (about 456.3 million U.S. dollars).

The heavy rains have also lifted water levels on the province's major rivers to dangerous levels, the provincial meteorological bureau said, adding that the Miluo, Zishui and Yuanshui rivers have all been affected.

The provincial government has ordered local authorities to make preparations for disaster relief work and make efforts to prevent the rivers from flooding.

Precipitation in Hunan is expected to drop on Tuesday, although another round of rain is expected for Friday, according to the provincial meteorological bureau.

In south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, heavy rains have left four people dead and another missing as of Monday, according to the regional civil affairs department.

The downpours have affected more than 70,000 residents in seven cities and 16 affiliated counties in Guangxi, damaging over 450 homes and forcing the evacuation of 1,576 people, the department said.

The rains have also damaged 3,370 hectares of crops in the region.

The rains have triggered floods on some small and mid-size rivers in Guangxi, according to the regional water resources bureau.

As of 8 p.m. on Sunday, heavy rains had caused water levels in five reservoirs to exceed warning levels.

National meteorological authorities said Sunday that rainstorms are expected to continue battering the nation's southern regions, including the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and Guangdong Province, throughout the week.


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