South braced for more floods

Updated: 2015-05-18 07:31

By Huo Yan and He Na in Guilin, Guangxi(China Daily)

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Firefighters and soldiers save 70 trapped by water and evacuate 300 as houses collapse and losses top $8.2m

Heavy rain was set to batter southern China again on Sunday following a brief respite, forecasters said.

The rain and occasional thunderstorms were forecast to hit parts of Guizhou, Hunan and Guangdong provinces, the National Meteorological Center said.

Heavy downpours battered parts of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi and Guangdong provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Friday and Saturday. At least four people in Guangxi were killed in rain-related accidents.

Torrential rain on Friday and at the weekend in Guilin in Guangxi caused rivers in the city to surge.

On the lower reaches of the Lijiang River's Yangshuo and Pingle sections, the water was 2.24 meters and 3 meters above the warning levels.

The local meteorological department said the rainfall was the heaviest seen in the area this year.

"The rain began to fall at 6 am on Friday and within an hour the water level in our community was 30 to 40 centimeters," said a local resident.

On the Yangshuo section of the Lijiang River, the previously clear water has become muddy, with a large number of branches and leaves floating on the surface.

The local maritime department is seeking temporary berths for tourists' boats.

To ensure tourists' safety, a bamboo raft sailing service was canceled. Some boat services on the Lijiang River were also closed, Guilin Maritime Bureau said.

After strong rainfall hit the upper reaches of the river, 42 students and teachers in Tengfei Primary School in Guilin were trapped by flooding. Firefighters carried the students to safety on their shoulders.

In Gongcheng county, a villager trapped in the middle of the river who was clinging to a tree was saved by firefighters who arrived by boat.

In Lingchuan county, many sections of the road from Chaotian to Dajing were flooded. Three people, including a 7-month-old baby, were trapped in a car. Police and residents made a temporary boardwalk to take them to safety.

Other counties in Guilin, including Lingchuan, Yangshuo and Yongfu, reported similar cases, with firefighters and soldiers helping to save trapped residents.

Since Friday afternoon, 350 firefighters and soldiers have been mobilized in Guilin. They have saved more than 70 people trapped in urban areas and helped to evacuate about 300 residents.

Guilin Civil Affairs Bureau said flooding was reported in seven counties and two districts in Guilin that are home to 51 million people.

About 2,400 people were transferred during emergencies, 148 houses in rural areas collapsed and some fields were flooded. Direct losses were reported to be 41.5 million yuan ($8.2 million).

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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 South braced for more floods

Residents repair a road damaged by flooding in Sanfang, a township in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Saturday after the region was hit by heavy rain. Provided to China Daily

(China Daily 05/18/2015 page5)