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Heavy rain wreaks havoc in eastern China as drought continues in the central-south

BEIJING, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) — Heavy rain battered several east China provinces Saturday, destroying homes and farmlands, while drought persisted in some of the country’s arid central and southwestern regions.

On Friday and Saturday, five counties in Anhui Province were hit by downpour, the provincial meteorological bureau said.

It said 23 towns reported over 200 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours from 8 a.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday. In some villages of Huaiyuan County, the precipitation topped 300 mm, about one third of the annual average volume.

In Fengtai County alone, 2,048 people were stranded by rain-triggered flood. As of 9 p.m. Saturday, about 800 of them were still waiting for evacuation.

Incomplete statistics provided by the provincial government said 280 houses toppled in the rain disaster and another 580 homes were damaged. About 54,800 hectares of cropland was drowned by rain and flood.

The direct economic loss was estimated at 240 million yuan (37.6 million U.S. dollars), the provincial government said Saturday night.

The provincial weather bureau forecast heavy rain will continue in most parts of Anhui in the coming three days.

Heavy rain also wreaked havoc in seven cities and counties of the eastern Shandong Province, causing 230 million yuan of direct economic losses.

Torrential rain that lasted more than 24 hours from Friday to Saturday afternoon forced evacuation of nearly 2,000 people in parts of Zaozhuang, Liaocheng and Linyi cities, the provincial civil affairs department said.

It said nearly 500 homes toppled and more than 800 others were damaged.

China Meteorological Administration has forecast heavy rain in the coming three days in Anhui, Shandong, Liaoning, Jiangxi provinces and parts of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the coming two to three days.

Little rain has been predicted, however, for the drought-hit provinces in central and southwestern China, the administration said on its website.

While the predicted rainfall for Guizhou, Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunnan, Hunan and Guangxi averages only 2 to 8 mm in four days from Aug. 28 to 31, it said the high temperature in these areas will still hover over 35 degrees Celsius.

Affected by the approaching Typhoon Nanmadol, the coastal areas of Guangdong Province will experience high tides Sunday, but the scorching weather will stay next week, the provincial weather bureau said.

The high temperature in most parts of the province has topped 35 degrees Celsius.

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