China / Society

China on orange alert for rainstorms

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-07-02 21:03

BEIJING - China's meteorological authority on Saturday renewed its orange alert for heavy rain across much of the country in the coming two days.

Thunderstorms will hit Guizhou, Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, Yunnan, Jiangxi, and Jiangsu provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region from Saturday morning to Sunday morning, with precipitation reaching 240 millimeters in some areas, the National Meteorological Center said on its website.

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

Hubei has been battered by its fourth round of rainfall since entering flood season on June 18. It is estimated to be one of the heaviest rainstorms the province has ever experienced.

As of Saturday noon, the downpour that started Thursday has left 16 people dead and six missing, destroying or damaging more than 15,800 housing units and inflicting direct economic losses worth 3.96 billion yuan (595 million US dollars), according to figures from the provincial civil affairs department.

Some counties saw record-breaking daily rainfall during the past two days, according to local weather authorities.

The rainstorm resulted in floods, mudslides and urban waterlogging and brought gales and hailstorms.

The four rounds of rainstorms have wreaked havoc across most of Hubei, killing 35 people and leaving 16 missing. More than 480,000 people have been displaced or are in need of aid.

Over 4,400 tents, 3,500 beds, along with clothes and quilts, have been sent to rain-affected regions.

Monitoring from the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters showed that a quarter of Hubei's 6,300 reservoirs have seen their water levels exceed alarm levels set in the flood season.

Local water authorities have ordered enhanced supervision over reservoirs and the safe discharge of water.

Affected by super El Nino, China is expected to face very complicated weather conditions, and there is a relatively high possibility of basin-wide floods this year, Vice Premier Wang Yang warned in mid-June.

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