GUANGZHOU -- Torrential rains that have killed 71 people over the last
week will continue to deluge south China's Guangdong Province for the rest of
this week, local meteorological departments forecast.
"Heavy downpours in most parts of the province will not stop until Saturday,"
said Huang Zhong, a weatherman with Guangdong Meteorological Station.
According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, 71 people have died, 13 are
missing and more than 10.6 million people have been affected by the
disaster-causing rains, which has caused an estimated 3.4 billion yuan (447
million dollars) in economic losses.
In worst-hit Guangdong Province, governments are handing out emergency funds
and living necessities to the ravaged areas.
As of Monday, civil affairs department in the province had allocated 13
million yuan in relief funds, 285 tents, 280 tons of grains, as well as drinking
water and fast food in disaster areas.
More than 10,000 people have been evacuated from six villages that have been
flooded to divert water from the swelling Hanjiang River in southern Guangdong
No casualties had been reported in the villages of Liuhuang Town, said Guo
Chunshan, the town's Party chief.
"All the evacuated residents have been appropriately resettled, " said Guo,
adding more people may be relocated if necessary.
The level of Hanjiang River, the second largest in Guangdong after the Pearl
River, had dropped nine-tenths of a meter since a sluice gate was opened at 4:00
a.m. on Monday. It is still 3.5 meters higher than the danger level, according
to the flood control office of Fengshun County.
The level of Hanjiang River, which runs 400 kilometers through east
Guangdong, had been on the rise since heavy rainstorms hit the county on Friday.
By 4:00 a.m. on Monday, the level reached 26.44 meters, the highest in 50
years, threatening at least 2.5 million people along the middle and lower
"Landslides and collapses have been frequent along the river dam area," said
Guo. "If we hadn't opened the sluice gate, the dam might have overflowed and the
losses would have been much more serious."
The village of Huanshi was almost completely submerged after the diversion.
Most of the buildings submerged to the tops of their doors and villagers were
piling their belongings on bamboo rafts.
"My house has been totally submerged and my whole family is staying with
relatives," villager Zhan Meizhi told Xinhua.
"I don't know when we can return home, but village officials told us the
government would take care of us and we will receive compensation," said Zhan.
The local government organized more than 500 police and army personnel to
help with the evacuation and rescuers distributed drinking water and food.
In Guangdong alone, at least 20 people were killed, 279 injured and four are
missing, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The province's economic losses stand at 1.25 billion yuan (160 million U.S.
dollars), according to the ministry.
The ministry has sent rescue teams to the disaster-affected areas to assist