More affected as torrential rains continue

Updated: 2008-06-11 13:52

HANGZHOU -- Torrential rains continued to lash China on Wednesday, affecting almost 1 million people, disrupting traffic and threatening reservoir safety.

About 1,880 rooms collapsed as the heavy rains hit the eastern Zhejiang Province and the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

In Zhejiang, the rain affected more than 930,000 people and more than 70,000 hectares of crops, halting production at 286 factories and forcing the closure of 115 roads, local officials said.

Water levels in at least five reservoirs in the province had risen above warning levels as of 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Preliminary estimates put the losses at 860 million yuan (124 million U.S. dollars).

Meteorological authorities in Zhejiang said the region would face more heavy rains in two days and urged local government officials of possible flood dangers.

In Guangxi, where one person was killed and around 920,000 were affected, the heavy rain brought down more than 1,000 rooms, affected 40,000 hectares of crops, forced the closure of 149 roads and damaged 20 reservoirs.

Damage to power lines and irrigation facilities was also reported.

In the eastern Jiangxi Province, precipitation exceeded 300 mm in three counties and 200 mm in another 43 in just three days. Five small reservoirs were at risk.

Some low-lying areas in Nanchang, the capital, were flooded, disrupting traffic.

A notice issued on Tuesday by the city's education department instructed all schools in Nanchang to close if necessary to ensure the safety of the teachers and students.

In Jingdezhen City, 6,680 people were relocated on Tuesday night when 640 homes were inundated.

The water level in the Anhui section of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest, has continued to rise due to the heavy rain in the region, but authorities said the flood risk was low because the water level was one to two meters lower than the same period last year.

The National Meteorological Center is forecasting that the rain will sweep across provinces and municipalities, including Jiangsu, the quake-hit Sichuan, Hunan, Anhui, Zhejiang and Shanghai in the next few days.

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