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Severe storms to continue in affected areas


1:21 pm
May 10, 2010



posts 215

At least
70 killed, aid for flood victims boosted

GUANGZHOU – Severe rainstorms that have
killed at least 70 people since Wednesday are expected to continue in
the southern and central parts of the country, with strong winds and
hailstorms in some areas, meteorological authorities have said.

Inclement weather in the next two days will
affect Guangdong, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Guizhou and Yunnan
provinces as well as the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, the China
Meteorological Administration forecast on Sunday.
On Sunday, authorities sounded a
yellow-level alert, two levels lower than the highest red alert, to warn
of storms continuing in Guangdong, Hunan, Fujian, and Jiangxi provinces
until Monday.

Torrential rain, gale and hail are also
expected to hit the areas, the administration said.

Many affected areas, such as Yunnan and
Guizhou, had just emerged from the worst drought in decades.

"Floods usually start in June, but South
China has already entered its flood season. The biggest floods have yet
to come," National Meteorological Center meteorologist Sun Jun told
Xinhua News Agency. The storms have already affected 2.55 million
residents and forced 250,000 people to be relocated, Xinhua reported.

The storms have triggered flash floods and
mudslides in the past few days. They have swollen rivers, burst dikes,
threatened reservoirs as well as damaged highways, bridges and power and
telecommunication facilities.

The storms affected up to 100,000 hectares
of arable land and leveled 9,900 houses, the Office of State Flood
Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said.

In Guangdong, heavy rains trapped more than
5,000 people in mountain areas in the villages of Minzhi, Youxi and
Shaoguan. Floods also cut off power and food supplies to Minzhi village.

Since Friday, downpours of up to 107.7mm in
Guangzhou claimed six residents' lives and submerged thousands of cars
in garages and streets, authorities said.

"The road down at the foot of the building I
live in turned into a river. When I waded to the Shiejiedaguan bus
station, I found the street like a vast ocean," said a resident in the
city's Tianhe district.

On Saturday, the Guangdong bureau of China
insurance regulatory commission said 13,000 claims of compensation had
already been filed for flood-hit cars in the past two days. The
compensation amount is expected to exceed 125 million yuan ($ 18.3

About 90 car owners who failed to reach
agreements with property management companies on the liability for the
damage to their cars reportedly blocked traffic in the city's Baiyun
district. Police placed eight of them under administrative custody.

Heavy rain also delayed up to 174 flights at
the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport on Sunday.

The rain is forecast to continue in the city
until Monday.

Guangdong Party Secretary Wang Yang pledged
all-out efforts for rescue and relief work in the affected areas.

Local authorities in the affected regions
are also required to monitor the development of rainstorms to boost
early warning efforts, said a statement from the Office of the State
Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Authorities have also allocated 31 million
yuan to help resettle flood victims and rebuild collapsed houses in
Chongqing municipality.



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