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Floods, mudslides sweep China
( 2003-06-27 06:42) (China Daily)

Rescuers try to reach a villager stranded by floods in Guangchang County, East China's Jiangxi Province on May 16, 2003. [newsphoto.com.cn]
Torrential rain across China has affected more than a million people, killed at least 16 and trapped more than 60 others in the last three days. And the flooding is expected to continue as much of the country braces itself for more heavy rain.

In Southwest China's Guizhou Province, 10 people died on Tuesday night in a mudslide in Xishui County caused by local downpours. Another four were injured and 14 are still missing.

In Huaying City of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, landslides killed two people and 210,000 local people were affected. The rainstorm claimed four lives in Chongqing Municipality on Wednesday.

In Tibet Autonomous Region, more than 60 construction workers building the Qinghai-Tibet Railway were trapped on Wednesday night by flooding at their construction site on Tanggula Range.

The railway construction headquarters received the distress call on Wednesday night and immediately dispatched rescuers to the scene.

A rescue team from the People's Liberation Army garrison at Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, also arrived to help the trapped workers early yesterday morning. By press time, it was unknown whether survivors had been found.

Water levels in the Huaihe River and Yangtze River basins are expected to rise markedly over the next few days as a result of forecast heavy rain, sounding the flood alarms once again this year.

Rain fronts and cold air from southwestern China will dominate the region, according to the latest weather forecasts.

The most affected areas will be Anhui, Hunan, Jiangxi and Jiangsu provinces, meteorologists from the China Central Meteorological Observatory said yesterday.

Rainstorms have hit many parts of South China's Hunan Province in the last three days, affecting nearly one million people.

Since Monday, storms have ravaged central and northwestern Hunan, flooding rivers, displacing more than 10,000 people, and cutting off nine highways.

Hunan meteorological departments forecast 30 to 90 millimetres of rain in the next three days in central and northern parts of the province.

Above-average rainfall is expected across the country from June to August, China's main flood season, they said.

In the lower Yangtze River valley and southern China, more rain than normal is expected this year, meteorologists said.

The Yellow River valley and areas further north also face the prospect of the wettest season in five years.

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