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China's coastal areas face further flooding
(China Daily)
Updated: 2008-09-03 07:37

Typhoons and heavy rainstorms are forecast to hit coastal areas over the next month, which could lead to further flooding of the Hanjiang and Jialing rivers, both tributaries of the Yangtze, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said Tuesday.

Four to five rounds of typhoons may emerge in the West Pacific Ocean and South China Sea, with two likely to hit coastal cities, the Xinhua News Agency quoted the agency as saying.

Meanwhile, the National Meteorological Center said Tuesday that heavy rains will hit the Huaihe, Yellow and Yangtze rivers over the next three days, Xinhua reported.

Regional governments have been alerted to the danger and have been told to make sure local people stay well away from high-risk areas, the flood headquarters said.

Ships and fishing boats have been advised to stay in harbor, it said.

Since the start of this summer's wet season, six rounds of typhoons have led to the flooding of several major waterways, including the Pearl and Nenjiang rivers and Taihu, Dongting and Poyang lakes, the flood agency said.

Between the start of June and the end of last month, floods nationwide killed 436 people, damaged more than 6.6 million hectares of cropland and demolished 370,000 houses, a Xinhua report claimed.

The cost of the damage was estimated at 72.1 billion yuan ($10.5 billion).

Hubei has been one of the worst-hit provinces.

Between Thursday and Sunday, four people were killed there and almost 4.5 million others were affected after rainstorms and floods lashed 39 cities and counties. The cost of the damage has been put at 1.7 billion yuan, Xinhua said.

The provincial government has sent four teams to assess the situation and 100 tents were dispatched to Zigui, one of the counties hardest hit by landslides.

Zhang Zhitong, deputy head of the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, said this year's typhoons had come about a month or two earlier than in previous years.

They had also hit a wider area, affecting almost 30 provinces and autonomous regions, he said.

However, the measures used to limit the impact of the storms had been successful, he said.

Compared with last year, the number of casualties is down 79 percent, the number of demolished houses down 76 percent and the amount of crops damaged down 44 percent, he said.

China Daily - Agencies