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Heavy Rain-triggered floods cause 29,000 evacuated in central China

Hubei, China: Heavy rains continue to batter Hubei Province in central China, with one area, Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, being particularly badly hit.

Local authorities in Enshi City, capital of the prefecture, raised its emergency response to the highest level on Friday, as the flooding was measured at two to three meters deep across downtown areas.
Large areas of the city have been flooded, with cars stuck in the water and homes inundated or even damaged. Data show some 29,000 residents have been evacuated to safety as to 17:00 Friday.

Meanwhile, the water level in Enshi section of the Qingjiang River surpassed 418.5 meters, almost approaching the highest warning mark, at a speed 3,670 cubic meters per second for most of the time as to Friday afternoon. However, forecasters have issued a red alert for more torrential rains to come.

In Yangxin County of Huangshi City, also in Hubei, a 50-meter-long breach on a dike caused by days of torrential rains has been successfully closed as of Sunday afternoon, thanks to the around-the-clock repair work involving hundreds of armed police officers together with helicopters and 27 heavy-duty vehicles.

The large breach on the dike posed a great safety threat to the surrounding residents, causing evacuation of residents nearby.
As least 20.27 million residents have been affected by heavy floods in 24 provincial-level regions across China since the start of July, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.
Floods in these areas, including the provinces of Jiangxi, Anhui and Hubei, have left 23 people dead or missing, and forced the emergency relocation of around 1.76 million people.

About 89,000 houses were damaged, and direct economic losses amounted to 49.18 billion yuan (about 7 billion U.S. dollars).
The number of people dead or missing due to the floods is 53.1 percent lower than during the same period of last year, while direct economic losses rose by 11.2 percent, according to the ministry.

Since June, continuous downpours have lashed large parts of southern China, and the water in many rivers in the affected regions has exceeded warning levels.

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