20 July 2013 (Reuters) – Continuous heavy rainstorms in China trigger floods, forcing local residents to evacuate. Lily Grimes reports.

[TRANSCRIPT] Two small children are pulled to safety as floods hit Shandong Province in eastern China on Friday, 19 July 2013. State television reports torrential rain left at least 10 villagers trapped by flood water being rescued by local authorities. Villagers whose homes are at risk of being washed away have been relocated, according to state media. The worst of the flooding has been in southwest China's Sichuan Province. Rivers have been reported at more than double their normal depth, reaching 11 metres in one place. The national meteorological centre predicts rain storms will continue to plague large parts of China for the next three days.

Villagers rescued from China floods


This picture, taken on 9 July 2013, shows heavy flood waters sweeping through Beichuan in southwest China's Sichuan province. Photo: AFP / Getty Images

BEIJING, 20 July 2013 (IANS) – Witnessing its heaviest rainfall of the year since Thursday, the Kunming city in China's Yunnan province is grappling with an urban flooding.

Cars and taxis have become submerged in the city and more than 200 inundated buses have been rendered unusable. The drainage system has failed, resulting in floods in many areas of the city, Xinhua reported Friday.

Water level on the nearby Panlong river exceeded the river banks' height, said the city's drainage company.

According to Jiang Kaili, deputy director of the municipal flood control office, precipitation has reached up to 190 mm thus far and rain-triggered floods have seriously disrupted road traffic.

Other rivers that traverse the city, such as the Jinzhen and Daguan rivers, have also seen drastic increases in water levels.

A spokesman with the Kunming railway bureau said trains departing from Kunming were operating as usual as of Friday noon, but those destined to arrive in the city from the cities of Shanghai, Xiamen, Nanjing, Guilin and Qujing have been delayed.

Meanwhile, 2,000 air passengers were affected as they couldn't get to the city's airport on time because of failed transport. Twenty-four flights were delayed.

The rainstorms also cut off power to 12,700 homes in 16 neighbourhoods.

The city government Friday initiated an emergency response for flood control. More than 3,000 people have joined in disaster relief efforts, helping relocate 26,000 residents to safety.

The rain is continuing to batter the city. And, according to a provincial weather forecast, it will continue until July 25.

Heavy rain has also hit the province's cities of Lijiang and Qujing, as well as Honghe Hani prefecture.

Torrential rain triggers urban flooding in China

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