China / Society

50,000 evacuated in Central China downpours

(Xinhua/ Updated: 2014-07-15 14:58

50,000 evacuated in Central China downpours

Residents are evacuated from a flooded street in Fenghuang county, July 15, 2014. [Photo by Yang Dongqiao/asianewsphoto]


CHANGSHA - More than 50,000 locals and tourists have been evacuated since Monday night as record downpours hit Fenghuang county of Central China's Hunan province, local authorities said.

Power supply in the county has been cut off and multiple temporary settlements set up in the county seat to cater for the evacuated people. About 128,000 people in the county have been affected by the flooding, according to the county government.

Fenghuang, renowned for its ancient town, has seen precipitation of up to 189 mm in the round up downpours.

Several bridges on the Tuojiang River have been inundated or destroyed. Water has flowed into dozens of bars, restaurants and hotels. The water level is sufficient for boats to pass along several streets, according to witnesses.

The local hydrographical bureau issued a red alert, the highest level in the country's four-tier warning system, at 10:10 am on Tuesday.

At 8 am on Tuesday, the water level of the Tuojiang River's Fenghuang section was 304.31 meters, 0.81 meters above the warning level. It topped the historical record by one meter at 3 pm.

The water levels of three big reservoirs in the county have also surpassed warning levels by 0.61 to 2.04 meters.

Fenghuang County receives an average of 20,000 to 30,000 tourists a day. Several scenic spots have been temporarily closed for safety reasons.

Flood-triggered landslides blocked several highways in Hunan on Tuesday.

Heavy rain will continue to hit the province on Wednesday, according to the provincial meteorological station.

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