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Xinhua Headlines: China's flood-hit regions battle natural disasters

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-- As heavy rainfall continues to batter flood-hit south China, Chinese authorities devote all-out efforts to combat rain and flooding.

-- Based on the early warnings of geological disasters triggered in the flood season, pre-disaster measures were taken to protect people's lives.

-- In regions affected by flooding and waterlogging, post-disaster reconstruction has been carried out in an orderly fashion to help the flood-stricken return to normal life.

by Xinhua writers Guo Yifan, Huang Yaoteng, Yao Yulin, Xu Ruiqing

BEIJING, June 14 (Xinhua) -- As heavy rainfalls continue to batter flood-hit south China, Chinese authorities have mobilized dramatic rescue efforts to fight the floods and protect people's lives and property.

More than 20 people were killed or remained missing after torrential downpours unleashed floods, mudslides and landslides in south China, according to a count based on local official reports.

The rain-triggered floods affected some 2.63 million people in 11 provincial-level regions as of Tuesday, said the Ministry of Emergency Management.

The heavy rains also forced relocation of about 228,000 people, destroyed over 1,300 houses and brought direct economic losses of over 4 billion yuan (about 566 million U.S. dollars), according to the ministry.

TIMELY RESPONSE

By 5 p.m. on Friday, floods and geological disasters reported in 66 county-level regions in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region had affected nearly 1.6 million people, according to the local department of emergency management.

A total of 3,000 emergency relief tents and 3,000 foldable beds were allocated to Guangxi on Thursday to support local disaster relief work and to ensure the basic livelihood of flood-stricken people, said the Ministry of Emergency Management.

The extreme weather has also dealt a hefty blow to the region's tourism sector, which is still reeling from the COVID-19 epidemic.

In Yangshuo, a popular tourist destination known for its karst mountains and picturesque rivers, the water levels of the rivers rose sharply and trapped residents and tourists in the floods as torrential rain had been pouring since the early morning of June 7.

A rescue team rushed to the scenic spot of Darongshu and spent nearly eight hours piloting rubber boats from door to door to search for flood-trapped residents and tourists. All the 62 stranded people were evacuated in time.

"When people are in need, it is our duty to step forward in time," said Fang Yang, a member of the rescue team.

EARLY WARNING

Based on the early warnings of geological disasters triggered in the flood season, pre-disaster measures were taken to protect people's lives.

In the city of Guilin, Guangxi, the local government organized on June 7 two early evacuations involving 661 people threatened by landslides after the early warning system forecast potential geological hazards.

In Hunan Province, since the main flood season started on June 1, the persistent rain has affected 321,000 people in 21 counties and cities.

Before the rain came, officials in Zhongba Village, Shuitianhe Township, conducted a thorough investigation to clear up hidden dangers, launched an emergency response and warned villagers not to fish in nearby rivers.

After the heavy rain, no one was trapped or injured in the village owing to the early preparation, according to Long Anxie, deputy head of the township.

POST-DISASTER RECONSTRUCTION

In regions affected by flooding and waterlogging, post-disaster reconstruction including restoring power and repairing water supply facilities has been carried out in an orderly fashion to help the flood-stricken return to normal life.

Agricultural technicians in Baojing County, Hunan, rushed to help save crops in the flood-drowned fields. In a watermelon greenhouse of Ganxi Village, agronomists showed the farmers how to maintain the seedlings.

In the city of Pingxiang, Jiangxi Province, one of the hardest-hit areas, the local government helped farmers clean up the silt and damaged crops for subsequent replanting.

Torrential downpours are expected to enter the central regions of China in the near future, according to the National Meteorological Center.

The center advised local governments to remain alert for possible flooding, landslides and mudslides caused by heavy rain and recommended outdoor operations be halted in hazardous areas.

(Video reporters: Yu Gang, Zhang Zhaoqing, Cheng Ji'an, Peng Lingxiang, Zhang Yujie; Video editors: Zhou Saang)