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Cover Stories Series 2012> Beijing Deluge> Video
UPDATED: July 26, 2012
Heavy Downpours Hit 22 Provinces and Regions in China


Since July 20, heavy downpours have hit 22 provinces and regions in China. More than 9 million people have been affected by the natural disaster.

Following downpours on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, the Three Gorges Dam saw a flood peak Tuesday night. The flow of water into the reservoir was the heaviest since the devastating Yangtze flood in 1998.

Meanwhile, the capital Beijing is expected to see more rainfall Wednesday. The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Land and Resources and Beijing Meteorological Bureau jointly issued a yellow alert for possible geological disasters of mud-slides in mountainous areas.

Meanwhile, south China was hit by torrential rains as typhoon Vincente passed through the region on Tuesday. Three people have been killed with six others missing in disasters caused by the weather system.

The largest flood crest since the Three Gorges Dam was built. Due to the torrential rain in the upper reaches, the influx of water into the reservoir reached more than 71,000 cubic meters per second, almost doubling the average volume.

The reservoir is now reducing the impact of flooding on the river's lower reaches, by storing 1.2 billion cubic meters of water every day. As the height of the Yangtze River peaked before reaching the Three Gorges Dam, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality suffered its worst flooding in more than three decades overnight.

Eleven districts of the city were left underwater, causing a direct economic loss of more than 7 million yuan ($1.1 million). The local authority says it may take two or three days for the water to drain away.

Yan Yonghui, Deputy Director of Chongqing Flood Control Office, said, "We have already issued the red flood alert. It's the first time we've issued such a high level flood alert because the flood is the heaviest in three decades."

Now the focus is to help affected residents. Yan said, "We've received dry and clean quilts. It's such a relief to have temporary shelter here."

Meanwhile, days after Beijing received its deadliest downpour in decades. The Chinese capital is expected to see more heavy rainfall. During Saturday's torrential rain, Fangshan District in the suburbs was hit hardest, with nearly half a meter. Amateur video shows how the flash floods submerged a village in the district in just few minutes. Luckily, a trapped couple survived.

An Jinhong, resident, said, "We were right there in the pavilion. I was holding fast to this pillar and my husband the other one. We got trapped for five hours in the fierce flood."

Daily necessities have been sent to Fangshan District and in urban areas, precaution work has been done in an effort to reduce the impact of future rain.

Heading southward, typhoon Vicente made a hard landfall over the city of Taishan in south China's Guangdong Province on Tuesday. It has so far lessened to a tropical storm, sweeping over southwest Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Local authorities have warned the public to take precautionary measures as more heavy rainfall in south China is expected in the coming days.

(CNTV.cn July 25, 2012)

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