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More Thunderstorms to Hit S China Soon

More heavy rainfall, accompanied by thunderstorms and strong wind, was expected to sweep southern China in the coming three days, said the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) on Thursday.

Heavy rain was forecast to sweep the eastern part of northwest China and the majority of southern China. Thunderstorms were expected to hit southwestern Sichuan Province, southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and areas that lie south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

Thunderstorms killed eight people and injured at least 66 in the central Hubei Province on Tuesday, cutting down electricity, water supply and road traffic.

A hailstorm hit Yishan County in the province on Tuesday, affecting more than 47,000 people, after eight people were killed by a thunderstorm in neighboring Dangyang City.

Hail, measuring up to two centimeters in diameter, heavy rain and strong wind wreaked havoc in Yishan between midnight and 8:00 AM. The extreme weather left 4,000 hectares of crops and 3,500 houses damaged. In addition, 31 highway caved in and 7,440 people were evacuated, said the Yishan government on Wednesday.

Direct economic loss from the hailstorm stood at 55 million yuan (US$7.86 million), the government said.

More than 2,000 vehicles were stranded on Tuesday night and early on Wednesday morning because of a landslide in a highway linking Yishan and the provincial capital Wuhan.

Elsewhere, the thunderstorm in Dangyang affected 350,000 on Tuesday. It caused 210 million yuan in losses, with 10,850 houses and 22,666 hectares of crops damaged.

The thunder also cut the water supply and disrupted road traffic. In the worst-hit Yuyang County, communications were interrupted for seven hours.

Power supply resumed on Wednesday evening after more than 100 emergency workers were summoned to repair the Dangyang grid.

(Xinhua News Agency April 11, 2008)

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- Heavy Rain Forecast for S China over Next 10 Days

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