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Severe rainstorms batter SW China quake-hit regions

Xinhua)  15:43, July 09, 2013  

Shangli town of Ya’an city, southwest China’s Sichuan province, is submerged.

CHENGDU, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Rainstorm-triggered floods have affected 16,900 people in Ya'an City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, which was shaken by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in April, local authorities said Tuesday.

Heavy rain started to batter Ya'an early Monday morning, causing river water levels to rise in excess of warning levels and flooding in three of the worst-hit townships in the city's Yucheng District, according to the district government.

At least 16,900 people in 4,920 households in the district have been affected, and direct economic losses are estimated at 768 million yuan (125.18 million U.S. dollars).

Local governments have relocated over 5,200 residents and tourists to avoid geological disasters.

Downpours also submerged the quake-razed old town ruins of Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County, with rainfall of more than 300 mm and the depth of water being over 7 meters.

An 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit Beichuan in May 2008, leaving 20,000 people dead or missing.

Two missing people have been found and more than 42,000 people in Beichuan have been affected by the downpours.

Rain-triggered floods also caused a landslide in Shilibei Village, as well as cut telecommunications and access to roads in many Beichuan townships.

Beichuan county government has relocated 2,019 residents as a precaution.

In Shuangliu International Airport in the provincial capital Chengdu, 4,000 passengers were stranded as more than 23 inbound and outbound flights were affected by the weather.

At 10:10 a.m., the Sichuan Provincial Meteorological Center upgraded its orange alert for rainstorms to red with torrential rain and thunder expected in Chengdu, Ya'an and Deyang City in Sichuan.

China has a four-color-coded warning system for severe weather, with red the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

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(Editor:WangLili、Gao Yinan)


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