China floods wreak havoc, block roads and railways; more rain due

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A woman looks on inside a stranded vehicle on a flooded street amid heavy rainfall, in Mianyang, Sichuan province, China July 11, 2018. (REUTERS)
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A boy stands on a flooded road amid heavy rainfall in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China July 2, 2018. (REUTERS)
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Firefighters rescue a stranded woman on a flooded street, following heavy rainfall in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China July 11, 2018. (REUTERS)
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An aerial view shows a flooded village following heavy rainfall in Dongxiang district of Fuzhou, Jiangxi province, China July 8, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 July 2018
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China floods wreak havoc, block roads and railways; more rain due

  • Floods in the province had caused damage to the tune of about 2.4 billion yuan ($358.74 million) by Thursday
  • The National Meteorological Center said rainfall could exceed 80 mm per hour in some regions on Saturday

SHANGHAI: Heavy rain and thunderstorms are wreaking havoc across China, with floods along major rivers destroying bridges, blocking roads and railways and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate, state media reported on Saturday.
Weather authorities are forecasting more downpours throughout the country on Saturday, with floods and landslides expected in the southwestern province of Sichuan.
Heavy rain and flooding hits much of China this time every year, often with hundreds killed, but the number of casualties this year has been relatively low, at least in the early summer, with one province reporting 12 dead and another three.
The National Meteorological Center said rainfall could exceed 80 mm per hour in some regions on Saturday. It also warned of floods in the northeast and called on authorities to halt outdoor activities and watch out for collapsing structures.
The flood-prone Yangtze river, which runs from Yunnan in the southwest to Jiangsu and Shanghai on the east coast, has seen a massive increase in water volumes, causing flooding in many of its tributaries and bringing water volumes in the giant Three Gorges reservoir close to record levels.
State news agency Xinhua reported on Friday that more than 10 highways in Sichuan were inaccessible as a result of flooding, and a bridge across Sichuan’s Min river, a Yangtze tributary, had collapsed.
Floods in the province had caused damage to the tune of about 2.4 billion yuan ($358.74 million) by Thursday, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.
Meanwhile, the nearby city of Chongqing had evacuated more than 80,000 residents by Friday, Xinhua reported.
Heavy rain has also caused the Yellow River, which runs through northern China, to burst its banks, blocking a section of a railway line in the northwest province of Shaanxi.
Gansu province, also in the northwest, reported 12 people killed and more than 1 million affected by a week of heavy rain and flooding, the official China Daily said on Saturday.
The normally arid region of Inner Mongolia, which had suffered weeks of drought, also issued a flood warning on Friday. ($1 = 6.6900 yuan)


Pope prays for those stricken by California wildfires

Updated 18 November 2018
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Pope prays for those stricken by California wildfires

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis has prayed for victims of California’s wildfires and freezing weather on the US East Coast.
Addressing tens of thousands of faithful in St. Peter’s Square Sunday, including pilgrims from New York and New Jersey. Francis prayed that “the Lord welcome the deceased into his peace, comfort family members and sustain all those involved in rescue efforts.”
Francis said he wanted to offer a “special prayer to all those stricken by the fires that are scourging California, and now also for the victims of the freeze of the east coast of the United States.”
At least 76 people perished, and hundreds are unaccounted for in the California wildfires. In the eastern US, an unusually early winter snowstorm last week was blamed for at least seven deaths.