At least 7 dead as rainstorms sweep south, east China

BEIJING (XINHUA) - At least seven people have been killed and thousands evacuated as torrential downpours unleashed floods and toppled houses in several provinces in south, south-west and east China.

The latest round of rainstorms, starting earlier this week, came as over 10 million students from across China took part in the national college entrance exam, and as the traffic system marked a surge in travellers during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday.

The National Meteorological Centre on Sunday renewed a yellow alert for rainstorms, predicting heavy rain in Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Guangdong provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Some of those regions will see up to 240mm of rainfall within 24 hours, it said.

China has a colour-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

In the eastern province of Jiangxi, six people were killed and one person missing following strong winds, hail and rain-triggered floods, which also damaged 77,400 hectares of crops.

The disastrous weather in Jiangxi has prompted the China National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) to jointly activate a level-IV emergency response and send a special work team and relief materials to the affected areas.

In south China's Guangxi, the rainstorm has left at least one dead, four missing and five injured, the region's emergency management department said on Sunday (June 9).

 

In the hardest-hit county of Quanzhou, administered by the city of Guilin, heavy rain and floods affected more than 180,000 residents, out of whom 8,380 were evacuated.

A total of 110 reservoirs in Guilin have seen water rise above the alert level.

In central China's Hunan province, an overnight rain inundated the county seat of Dong'an, trapping dozens of people inside two residential buildings.

"The water rose quickly at visible speed and at one point reached the first floor," said Mr Jiang Yaping, one of the 37 residents who were later rescued by fire fighters using rescue ladders and kayaks.

The south-western province of Guizhou also reported that 58,200 people were affected by intense rain that damaged houses and disrupted power supply in the Qiannan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture.

In the hardest-hit Baisuo Town, flood water rose above 2m at one point but began to subside on Sunday. Affected residents have been relocated to safe places, the local government said.

To restore electricity disrupted by the rain in the prefecture, China Southern Power Grid Company said they had mobilised 1,181 personnel and 494 vehicles into repair missions and have ensured stable supply to sites hosting the college entrance exam.