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Already soggy southern China warned to brace for new floods

By Hou Liqiang and Feng Zhiwei | China Daily/chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-07-03 08:05

Vehicles and houses are submerged in water as Rongrui Miao autonomous county is hit by sustained heavy rains, July 2, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

Days of torrential rains in Hunan raised the water level of the Xiangjiang River, a major tributary of the Yangtze, beyond its record flood level on Sunday morning. The water level at Changsha, Hunan, reached 39.44 meters at 3pm-the previous record, set by a massive flood in 1998, was 39.18 meters .

Already at 3.44 meters above the warning, the water level is expected to continue to rise as heavy rains are forecast for upstream regions over the next few days. Water at Dongting Lake and in several major rivers in Hunan has also risen above warning levels.

Rain began to batter Hunan on June 22, and the ensuing floods have forced the evacuation of 577,100 people. Nearly 406,000 hectares of crops have been damaged, and 9,861 houses have been destroyed, according to the provincial meteorological service.

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