Calgary Herald

Flood-ravaged China braces for more rains

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Flood-hit areas of central and southern China braced for more heavy rains Monday with several major rivers already swollen after downpours that have affected millions and left scores dead or missing.

Water Resources Minister Chen Lei warned that at least 10 major rivers in the affected areas were threatenin­g to burst their banks.

“Severe floods triggered by heavy rains will continue to threaten parts of southern China,” he said Sunday in remarks posted on his ministry’s website.

“There is an increasing possibilit­y that downpours, with enhanced frequency and intensity, will continue to lash regions in the south.”

Persistent rains since early June have swamped many areas across a wide swath of China and the state weather bureau on Monday forecast continued downpours over the next three days, with the summer typhoon season approachin­g. More than 1.6 million people in 13 provinces, regions and municipali­ties had been evacuated from their homes from June 3-20 due to flooding, the civil affairs ministry said Monday.

The rains had left at least 261 people dead or missing while more than 36 million have been “affected” one way or another by the rain and flooding, it added.

A three-hour downpour dumped a near-record 312 millimetre­s of rain in Wangmo county in Guizhou province in the southwest, while over 200 millimetre­s of rain had fallen over short periods in other regions, Chen said.

State television broadcast footage of the flooded streets of Wuhan, the capital of the central Hubei province.

Newspapers carried photos of crowded boats evacuating stranded villagers and numerous flooded roads.

In the east of the country, a 30-metre-deep sinkhole slashed into a highway.

Authoritie­s have evacuated 292,000 people from along the Qiantang river in Zhejiang province on the east coast after heavy rains caused the river to swell dangerousl­y, official Xinhua News Agency said.

Dykes stretching more than 70 kilometres along the Lan river in the Zhejiang city of Lanxi were at risk of bursting and authoritie­s were preparing evacuation plans for residents in the area, the agency added.

 ?? AFP-Getty Images ?? a view of the flooded roads in Lanxi, zhejiang province, on Monday. heavy rains leave millions of people homeless and scores dead or missing in central and southern China.
AFP-Getty Images a view of the flooded roads in Lanxi, zhejiang province, on Monday. heavy rains leave millions of people homeless and scores dead or missing in central and southern China.

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