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Local authorities carry out forceful relief work as record rainfall continues to batter parts of China

Chinese authorities at all levels are making all-out efforts in rescue and relief as the record rainfall continues to batter vast stretches in east and central China's provinces. The Huaihe River Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources on Sunday raised the flood-control response from Level III to Level II, the second highest in a four-tier emergency response system.

At 08:00 on Sunday morning, the water level in the section between the Wangjiaba hydrological station and Zhengyangguan hydrological station along the main course of the Huaihe River in east China's Anhui Province exceeded warning level by 0.27 meter to 1.14 meters, and the water of main tributaries in the southern part of Huaihe River, namely Shiguan River and Bailu River, also exceeded the guaranteed level.

Meanwhile, the main stream of the Yangtze River running through Anhui also saw water maintain above warning level for several days. Due to the grim flood situation, Anhui authorities already activated top emergency response measures for flood control at 18:00 Saturday. In Hefei City, the provincial capital, heavy downpours wreaked havoc especially in low-lying areas with floods submerging vehicles and disrupting traffic.

In Quanjiao County, two dams along the Chuhe River were detonated Sunday morning to discharge floodwaters and prevent against possible risks. The water level later dropped by 0.56 meter. "After discharge, the water level in the dam in Chuhe River and Xianghe River fell from the peak of 14.39 meters on July 19 to 13.83 meters at 12:00 on the day," said Dong Biao, head of Quanjiao County Emergency Management Bureau.

The water level at the Nanjing hydrological station in the provincial capital of east China's Jiangsu rose to 10.31 meters Sunday morning, far surpassing the warning alert level of 8.7 meters and overrunning the historical high of 10.22 meters in 1954. In Nanjing City, many first-floor homes in low-lying areas were inundated by flood water.

"Now we are using two pumps to drain the water in residents' home day and night. We have three shifts with all staff on duty," said Hao Xuliang, a staff member with Nanjing municipal comprehensive administrative law enforcement department. Located in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Jiangzhou Township in east China's Jiangxi Province, still saw its water remaining about two meters above the warning level on Sunday. To prevent flooding and protect local people's lives, armed police force officers and soldiers were dispatched to reinforce embankments along the Yangtze River.

"There may be risks of water leakage and plumbing. To cope with that, we must strengthen the situation research and judgment, steadfastly prevent and defend to the last ditch, and fully prepare for the arrival of the second flood peak of the Yangtze River," said Luo Man, head of Jiujiang detachment under the Armed Police Force.

Honghu City, central China's Hubei Province, continuous rainfall led to breach on the Hongshi Embankment on Saturday evening. Upon receiving the alert, more than 500 officers and soldiers from the airborne troops rushed to the site for embankment repair work.

In the coming days, downpours are expected across a vast swathe of China from the southwest to the northeast, including Yunnan, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Liaoning and Jilin, but southern regions are expected to see less rainfall as the worst weather moves north.

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