More torrential rain predicted for Sichuan, N China

Updated: 2013-07-11 01:41

By WANG QIAN (China Daily)

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China's main weather agency predicts more torrential rains will batter Sichuan province and parts of northern China until Tuesday, increasing the risks of geological disasters.

The National Meteorological Center issued a storm alert on Wednesday, warning of heavy rains in Sichuan, Shanxi, Hebei and Shandong provinces before Thursday.

The volume of rain in Sichuan may reach 150 millimeters from Wednesday to Thursday, the center said.

Latest data from Sichuan's meteorological bureau showed about 880 mm of rain had fallen in Dujiangyan since Sunday. The bureau raised its storm alert to its highest level on Tuesday evening.

If the rain continues, the flood control situation will be severe in Sichuan, the bureau warned.

Monday through Tuesday, torrential rains caused water levels in eight small and medium-sized rivers in Sichuan to reach above danger levels, resulting in flooded bridges, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said on Wednesday.

Chen Lei, its deputy commander-in-chief, urged authorities to strengthen patrols along rivers and make full preparations for potential flooding and mudslides.

The Ministry of Land and Resources also issued a geological disaster emergency alert on Wednesday, and sent an expert team to southwestern China.

Sichuan faces severe challenges in flood control and coastal regions of Zhejiang to Fujian provinces are also under threat by strengthening Typhoon Soulik this weekend, the National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center said.

Soulik is likely to bring high winds and torrential rain over the weekend, and the center said a wave alert is likely due to the power of the typhoon.

The typhoon will most likely make landfall and its approach is still unpredictable, the center said.

While coastal regions, Sichuan and northern China experience constant downpours, Chongqing and other southern cities will be hit by a heat wave with daily maximum temperatures passing 35 C before next Tuesday, according to the National Meteorological Center.