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Torrential rains hit China's arid northwest

English.news.cn   2012-07-30 18:02:23            

YINCHUAN, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The heaviest downpours in six decades have hit Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region, since Sunday, authorities said.

Precipitation from 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday in the city proper exceeded 100 mm, or half of the average annual precipitation in the city, according to the city's flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The maximum rainfall exceeded 166 mm at Gunzhongkou, a scenic spot in Yinchuan's suburban area, the headquarters said in a press release.

Rescuers have been mobilized to save tourists stranded by rain-triggered floods there and at Suyukou, another sightseeing spot, the press release said.

No casualties have been reported so far.

Accumulated water levels in the city proper reached 30 to 50 cm, with 77 households evacuated in Jinfeng district.

According to the local weather forecast, more rains are expected to hit the city, with floods and other geological disasters possible in southern and central areas.

In Ningxia's neighboring Gansu province, torrential rains triggered landslides at 3 a.m. Monday in the provincial capital Lanzhou, disrupting one-way traffic along the expressway from Lintao county to the capital. Traffic police were sent to the scene to clear debris from the road, but falling stones have hampered their efforts, traffic police authorities said.

Because of torrential rains on Saturday, Lanzhou saw the largest flood peak along the Yellow River in 30 years, the city's flood control headquarters said Monday.

Water flow rates reached 3,780 cubic meters per second at 10 a.m. Monday. Nearby residents and commercial tenants have been relocated, and public fitness facilities near the riverbank have been submerged, according to headquarters.

Officials with the headquarters said if the water levels of the Yellow River continue to climb, it will threaten the safety of the city proper. The headquarters has issued an urgent notice, requesting precautionary measures be taken to fight floods, landslides and other rain-triggered disasters.

According to the local weather forecast, heavy rains will continue until Tuesday.

Editor: Yang Lina
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