|Rescuers evacuate people trapped in flood water in Jishou, central China's Hunan Province, July 16, 2014. Downpours hit Jishou since July 15. The Hunan Provincial Meteorological Station issued a red alert for rain on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Peng Biao)
GUIYANG/GUANGZHOU/CHANGSHA, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Continuous rainstorms have battered several provinces in China this week, killing at least 18 people and affecting several million.
In southwest China's Guizhou Province alone, 7 people were killed in floods, when their homes collapsed or by lightning strikes, the provincial civil affairs bureau said in a press release Wednesday. Three others were reported missing and more than 91,000 were relocated.H Heavy rain, which began on Sunday night and lasted through Wednesday, destroyed 5,800 homes and damaged another 16,300 in Guizhou.
In Tongren City, the Jinjiang River overflowed into many downtown streets, flooding homes and stores. Firefighters were mobilized to pump the floodwater from downtown areas.
Power supplies were cut off in nearly 300,000 homes in Tongren, Zunyi and Bijie. As of Wednesday night, about 100,000 homes were still without power.
Across the province, 43 of 113 reservoirs and hydropower stations are on flood alert, as water levels are dangerously high.
Meanwhile, 25 departing flights were delayed and 44 incoming flights were forced to land at other airports. At least 4,000 passengers were stranded at the Longdongbao Airport in the provincial capital Guiyang.
Heavy rain wreaked havoc in east China's Jiangxi Province, where 6 people have died from lightning strikes since Friday, the provincial civil affairs department said.
So far, about 338,000 people in Jiangxi have been affected and 1,610 relocated. The storms damaged 227,000 hectares of crops and destroyed 166 homes, resulting in direct economic losses of 186 million yuan (29.8 million U.S. dollars).
Neighboring Hunan Province has also been hit by heavy rain since early Monday morning. Five people were killed and 14 are missing in landslides in Anhua County. Rain-triggered disasters destroyed 1,330 homes and forced 283,000 people to relocate.
Persistent downpours also disrupted trains on three lines in Hunan and Guizhou provinces, where floods, cave-ins and landslides threaten the safety of passengers. Railway authorities said 92 trains would be suspended Thursday and Friday.