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2.3 million affected in central China rainstorms


08:15, July 19, 2012

CHANGSHA, July 18 (Xinhua) -- About 2.3 million residents have been affected and 42,000 evacuated over the past week as China's central Hunan province was battered by the largest rainstorm this summer, local authorities said Wednesday.

Heavy rains also damaged 123,000 hectares of croplands and destroyed 3,921 rooms in 11 cities across Hunan, the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said in a statement.

In the 24 hours to 8 a.m. Wednesday, rainstorms mainly lashed four cities and a prefecture in northwestern Hunan, with a town in the city of Jishou receiving the largest rainfall of 236.5 mm.

Due to the rainstorms, water levels in several major reservoirs have been pushed up to 7.3 meters higher than the warning level. Meanwhile, parts of several county seats have been submerged in flood waters.

The local authorities in northwestern Hunan have been urged to brace for further rain-triggered disasters as more rains are forecast on Thursday.

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