260,000 displaced, dike bursts as rainstorms lash central China

Paramilitary policemen sweep a flooded street in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, on June 30, 2017
Paramilitary policemen sweep a flooded street in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, on June 30, 2017PHOTO: REUTERS

CHANGSHA (XINHUA) - More than 260,000 people have been displaced after continuous heavy rain lashed central China's Hunan Province since June 22, said the provincial flood control office Friday.

Floods hit Xiangjiang and Zijiang rivers in Hunan, said the Hunan Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Office.

At around 1am on Saturday, a 20-metre-long dike stretch of the Taxi river, a small branch of Zijiang River, burst due to the prolonged rainfall and flood discharging of a reservoir upstream, according to a local official.

The flood discharging has been slowed to handle the breach and evacuate residents. More than 70 people used sandbags to secure the dikes of Zijiang in Taojiang County on Friday night. Another 500 soldiers have been dispatched to the county to prevent the dikes from breaching.

The latest round of rainstorms hit many areas in Hunan. As of Friday afternoon, 58,000 residents in Huaihua City had been relocated due to flood.

Eight sites in Pingjiang County reported precipitation of more than 200 mm within 14 hours on Friday, according to the county government. Some 28,000 people have been evacuated. Stretches of highways were inundated and power supply facilities damaged.

Downpours and floods also hit other provinces such as Jiangxi and Hubei.

The Yangtze River flood control and drought relief headquarters launched a Grade-II response on Friday night to deal with the severe flood situation.