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10 killed in Chongqing storms

[ 2009-08-06 11:04]     字号 [] [] []  
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Rainstorm-triggered floods in southwest China's Chongqing municipality have killed at least 10 people in the past four days, and one person is still missing, officials with the Ministry of Civil Affairs said yesterday.

Continuous rainfall since Sunday also caused landslides and mud flows in some parts of the mountainous municipality.

More than 1.5 million Chongqing residents have been affected by the floods, and 123,000 have been relocated, the ministry official said.

Direct economic losses amounted to 680 million yuan ($100 million), with more than 10,000 houses toppled in the floods and 16,000 more damaged.

The government yesterday issued an alert and urged stepped-up efforts to fight against the flooding in the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River. The flooding, expected to be the worst since August 2004, was caused by continuous heavy rainfalls in the region.

Maximum inflow into the Three Gorges Dam would be 56,000 cubic meters a second, the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters (SFDH) warned.

The Three Gorges Dam is capable of reducing flood waters by between 27,000 and 33,000 cubic meters a second.

Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei said a critical stage in fighting the floods had been reached. He called on governments in Sichuan, Hubei and Shaanxi provinces and Chongqing municipality to continue their efforts to stem rising waters.

Meanwhile, China's third largest freshwater lake may burst its banks and flood wealthy residents in Taihu Lake basin.

The cities of Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou and Huzhou surround the 2,400-sq-km lake, which is a major drinking water source in Jiangsu province.

After persistent rainfall since July 21, the water level yesterday reached 3.84 meters, 0.34 meters higher than the warning level, according to the Taihu Lake Basin Management Bureau under the Ministry of Water Resources.

Contingency plans were being set up last night as continued rain pushed water levels upwards and tropical storm Morakot headed towards the country's eastern coastline.

The year's eighth tropical storm, Morakot - which means "turquoise" in Thai - is moving toward Zhejiang and Fujian provinces at 10 km per hour and is growing stronger.

The country's meteorological administration said Morakot will likely be upgraded to a typhoon by the time it hits China on Saturday.

In South China's Guangdong province, Goni, the seventh typhoon this year, lashed Haiyan township of Taishan at 6:20 am yesterday, with winds of up to 82 km per hour.

It brought heavy rains to the Pearl River Delta region, with a rainfall of 186 mm being recorded in the city of Zhuhai.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

10 killed in Chongqing storms

About the broadcaster:

10 killed in Chongqing storms

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.