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Rescue efforts underway in rain-ravaged Guangxi

By ZHANG LI | China Daily | Updated: 2019-06-11 08:14
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Armed police rescue villagers besieged by floods in Quanzhou county of Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Sunday. WANG ZICHUANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

Rescue efforts are still underway in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region where torrential rain has claimed five lives and left thousands of people stranded, local officials said on Monday.

The deaths happened in Quanzhou, one of hardest hit counties in Guangxi, and one person is still missing. Around 180,000 county residents were affected by the downpours, 5,000 hectares of crops were damaged and 87 buildings collapsed, said the local government.

Roads, bridges, water conservancy facilities, power stations and water plants have been seriously damaged. Power supply to more than 20,000 households in the county has been affected.

"Now we have 500 personnel taking part in the emergency rescue, and so far more than 800 trapped residents have been rescued and nearly 8,380 evacuated by Monday," said Tang Hong, a local official.

The heavy rain will continue to sweep most parts of southern China in the next four days after the strongest rainfall this year from Thursday to Sunday, the National Meteorological Center said.

The center renewed a yellow alert for heavy rain in the country's southern regions on Monday, saying rainstorms are expected to hit parts of Guangdong, Taiwan, southern Fujian and Jiangxi, southeastern Hunan, southwestern Guizhou, eastern Yunnan and Guangxi from Monday to Thursday. These areas will have an accumulated rainfall of 100 to 250 millimeters.

Meanwhile, in northern Guangxi, the middle and northern parts of Guangdong, southern Fujian and Taiwan, accumulated rainfall will reach 300 to 400 millimeters, with a maximum hourly precipitation of up to 60 mm.

Meteorologists warned of an increased risk of landslides and flooding in small and medium-sized rivers in areas of Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Guizhou and Taiwan.

The weather has caused great economic losses and the evacuation of thousands of residents across China.

More than 1.42 million residents have been affected by torrential rain-triggered floods in east China's Jiangxi province, with 135,000 relocated. The heavy rain has inundated nine cities, said Jiangxi provincial emergency management bureau.

As of 9:30 am on Monday, the floods had wiped out 10,800 hectares of crops in Jiangxi, adversely affected another 110,500 hectares of crops, while 715 houses collapsed in the surging waters, with 313 houses severely damaged.

Direct economic losses were estimated at 2.65 billion yuan ($383 million).

The provincial emergency management bureau has allocated 800 folding beds, 1,000 quilts, and 1,000 bamboo mats to disaster-hit areas. Local governments have also sent relief materials including food, drinking water and clothes to guarantee basic needs are met.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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