Downpour in Hunan kills 10, with 3 missing

Heavy rainstorms lash province, more forecast to come for southeastern China

Flood waters sweep through the ancient town of Feng Huang in central China's Hunan province, June 4, 2022. (PHOTO / AP)

As of Wednesday, 10 people had been killed and three are missing due to heavy downpours and flooding in Hunan province that have affected more than 1.79 million people across the province, local officials said on Wednesday.

"From June 1 to 6, the province experienced the longest and heaviest rainstorm recorded this year," Li Dajian, director of the provincial department of emergency management, said at a news conference on Wednesday.

"The average precipitation in the province during the period reached 87.9 millimeters, and a maximum rainfall of 448.6 mm was recorded in Jiyi town of Rucheng county," Li said.

Li, also secretary-general of the province's flood control and drought relief headquarters, said the rain and floods caused direct economic losses amounting to over 4.07 billion yuan ($61 million).

Water levels in rivers, lakes and reservoirs rose rapidly, with some rising above the warning level.

Floods have caused landslides and related geological hazards in some parts of the province, according to Li.

Flooding has also damaged 1,195 homes and 96,160 hectares of crops, with 8,306 hectares totally wiped out.

He said the downpours have caused widespread disruptions, blocking several roads and highways and leading to electricity outages. Phone signals were also affected.

The province's Luxi county was heavily hit.

According to the local meteorological department, from 8 am on June 1 to noon of June 3, the average accumulated rainfall in the county reached 299.8 mm.

By Thursday, nearly 121,000 people in Luxi were affected, and 23,600 people had been relocated, according to the local government.

More than 10,000 people have joined the rescue effort, including Party members, cadres, firefighters and armed police.

In Guangdong province, the cities of Lianjiang, Gaozhou, Huazhou and Xinyi issued red alerts for rainstorms on Thursday, the highest level in the four-tier warning system. The cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen issued yellow warnings, the third-highest warning level.

From Wednesday to June 17, some regions in southern and southwestern China will see accumulative rainfall 30 to 70 percent more than what has been typical in the same period of previous years, the National Meteorological Center forecast on Wednesday.

Among them, southern Hunan, southern Jiangxi, southern Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong and Guangxi will experience rainfall of 150 to 200 mm, with some parts receiving up to 300 mm, the forecast said.

In Beiliu city of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, seven people were killed and one is missing after mudslides struck four villages on Thursday following recent heavy downpours, according to the Beiliu city government. It said heavy rain triggered a mountain collapse and resulted in severe mudslides around the four villages in Xinfeng town.

Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou contributed to this story.

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