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Rainstorms continue to batter N China province


13:23, July 31, 2012

TAIYUAN, July 31 (Xinhua) -- North China's Shanxi province issued this year's first red alert for rainstorms early Tuesday morning as a new round of rainstorms has continued to pelt the province from Monday to Tuesday.

The provincial meteorological station issued the red rainstorm alert at 4:22 a.m. to warn that more heavy rains are expected to hit four cities -- Jincheng, Yuncheng, Changzhi and Linfen -- in the southern part of the province from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Chinese meteorological authorities use a four-tier color-coded weather warning system, with red being the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

The station forecast that most parts of the province will be battered by showers or thunderstorms on Wednesday.

Recent downpours and flooding have left 11 people dead and 15 missing in the city of Yulin in neighboring Shaanxi province, the city's flood control and drought relief headquarters said Sunday.

Three rounds of powerful rainstorms have buffeted nine counties in the city of Yulin since July 15, with precipitation surpassing 270 mm in some townships in the worst rainstorms in 200 years, the headquarters said.

The headquarters said the storm has destroyed many homes and raised the water level in the Yellow River over the danger level. More than 240,000 local residents have been affected and 20,100 people have been forced to relocate so far. h Initial statistical data showed that direct economic losses caused by the rainstorms in Yulin has totaled about 800 million yuan (125.4 million U.S. dollars).

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