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Red alert for central China downpours

Xinhua, July 15, 2014 Adjust font size:

Central China's Hunan Province on Tuesday morning issued a red alert, the highest level in the country's four-tier warning system, for heavy rain hitting the west of the region.

Fenghuang County, renowned for its ancient town, has been worst hit as water has flowed into dozens of bars, restaurants and hotels. The water level is sufficient for boats to pass along several streets, witnesses said.

More than 2,000 local residents and tourists living along the Tuojiang River have been evacuated, according to the county government.

The water level of the river's Fenghuang section was 304.31 meters at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, 0.81 meters above the warning level. The local hydrographical bureau is expecting it to top the historical record by one meter before 3 p.m..

The water levels of three big reservoirs in the county have also surpassed warning levels by 0.61 to 2.04 meters.

Flood-triggered landslides blocked several highways in Hunan on Tuesday.

Heavy rain will continue to hit the province on Wednesday, according to the provincial meteorological station.

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