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More downpours to drench country
By Qin Yan (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-30 00:41

More heavy or torrential rain will drench the country in the next two or three days, the Central Meteorological Observatory predicted Thursday.

A Chinese family makes itsr way along a flooded street on their makeshift raft on July 21, in Nanning, southwest China's Guangxi province. The death toll from rains and floods jumped to 439, with more than 20,000 people injured. [AFP]
Regions expected to be hit are the central and southern parts of North China, Beijing, Tianjin, the southern and eastern parts of Northeast China and the nation's south.

In Beijing, which has seen frequent downpours since July, heavy rain fell early Thursday morning, causing traffic congestion in some places.

Majialou bridge in southwestern Beijing was among the problem areas. Traffic was blocked for hours, Xinhua reported Thursday.

Heavy rain cause traffic congestion in Majialou bridge in southwestern Beijing Thursday morning. [newsphoto]
A truck driver said he was stuck on the bridge for more than five hours.

Flooding also occurred in some other parts of the city, stopping people from making it to work.

Near the Shuangjing bridge along the east Third Ring Road, the rain caused a cave-in at a construction site, which brought down a telegraph pole fall.

The incident caused power cuts to about 600 families who were living in the vicinity.

Earlier this month, China's two biggest cities -- Beijing and Shanghai -- were hit by torrential rain and suffered great losses.

On the afternoon of July 10, rain caused huge traffic jams throughout Beijing and ruined many cars.

The downpour and flooding highlighted the city's poor drainage system.

Two days later, a storm hit Shanghai. Although the rain only fell for about an hour, it claimed seven lives and injured more than 20 people.

Chinese soldiers and workers load rescue goods on a helicopter at Yingjiang County, Dai-Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture of Dehong in Yunnan Province, July 25, 2004. The helicopter will airdrop the relief supplies to the 16,000 residents trapped by floods and mud-rock flows in a town. [Reuters]

Floods have claimed 439 lives and injured more than 21,600 in China so far this year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Throughout the nation, landslides caused by flooding have destroyed 275,000 homes and damaged more than 1 million houses, forcing 1.46 million people to flee their homes.

And more than 5 million hectares of farmland has been ruined by flooding, mostly in Hunan, Henan and Hubei provinces in Central China and Yunnan Province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the south.

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