More rain forecast for flood-hit southwest

Updated: 2011-09-21 08:04

(China Daily)

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More rain forecast for flood-hit southwest
Rescuers in Baoji, Northwest Chna's Shaanxi province, carry the body of a victim of a rain-triggered landslide, which killed three people and injured two on Tuesday. [Photo by Yang Yongtao/for China Daily] 

YICHANG, Hubei - Torrential rain in the upper stream of the Yangtze River, China's longest waterway, caused this year's biggest flood crest on Tuesday, damaging thousands of houses and affecting more than 235,000 people in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality.

At least 20 local schools have suspended classes for five days, and more than 83,000 residents had to evacuate on Tuesday.

Torrential rain in the drainage of the Jialing River, a major Yangtze tributary, caused floodwaters to gush into the Yangtze Three Gorges Dam Reservoir at an estimated 40,000 cubic meters per second on Tuesday.

This rate was at least twice Monday's volume, according to a hydrological report provided by the Three Gorges navigation authority.

On Tuesday morning, local maritime authorities rescued two vessels that lost control in the river's roaring waves. No casualties were reported.

The flood has not hindered water traffic in the Three Gorges Dam area, but on the Hanjiang River, the Yangtze's largest tributary, traffic was suspended on Tuesday for safety reasons.

At least 1,672 vessels were called off along the middle and lower streams of the Hanjiang, the Hubei provincial flood control office said.

The flood has battered several provinces, including Hubei, Shaanxi and Sichuan.

In Northwest China's Shaanxi province, a rain-triggered landslide killed three people and injured another two on Tuesday.

The landslide happened at around 8:30 am in Chaoyu township of Weibin district in Baoji, burying five people. Three were confirmed dead at the scene and the other two were taken to hospital for treatment, an official with the city's fire brigade said.

This was the second rain-triggered landslide in Shaanxi in four days. A landslide on Saturday buried several workshops in the suburbs of Xi'an, the provincial capital. Seventeen were confirmed dead and another 15 were missing.

The meteorological authorities forecast on Tuesday that rains will sweep most regions in the country's southwest over the next three days.

Southern parts of Sichuan province, western and northern parts of Yunnan province will experience heavy rain, the National Meteorological Center said on its website.

Meanwhile, a cold front will continue to affect areas south of the Yangtze River, dropping temperatures in the region and bringing gales to the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea, the center said.

China Daily - Xinhua