Continued Rain Raises Flood Threat in Southern China

Posted June 20th, 2011 at 3:05 am (UTC-5)
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Torrential rains continued Monday across southern China, where severe flooding has claimed more than 100 lives and driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

Weather forecasters predicted at least three more days of rain, while authorities called on local officials to pay close attention to the condition of dikes, reservoirs and dams. At least 10 major rivers are reported to be on the verge of bursting their banks.

Chinese state media say more than 1 million people have been forced to evacuate their homes since the rains began in early June, ending what had been the region's worst drought in decades. Millions more have been affected by the flooding, which stretches from southwestern Yunnan province to Shanghai.

The official Xinhua news agency quoted Water Resources Minister Chen Lei as saying on Sunday that the next few days represent a crucial moment in flood control for the country.