BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Heavy downpours continued to wreak havoc across vast stretches of China on Wednesday as the country renewed its alert for rainstorms and multiple provincial-regions enhanced flood responses.
China's national observatory on Wednesday renewed its orange alert, the second-highest, for rainstorms, while the downpour is forecast to continue from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning, in large parts of southern China, according to the National Meteorological Center (NMC).
China's State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters upgraded the emergency response for flood control from level IV to level III on Tuesday afternoon.
Statistics from China Meteorological Administration Tuesday showed that the accumulated precipitation since June 1 in east China's Anhui and Zhejiang provinces, central China's Hubei Province, and southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, is the highest compared with that of the same period since 1961, with the average precipitation in Anhui and Hubei exceeding 500 mm.
The NMC also warned Wednesday that some areas of east China's Jiangxi Province will experience downpours with up to 260 mm of daily rainfall.
Jiangxi Province upgraded its emergency response for flood control from the fourth to the third level as of 10:00 a.m. Wednesday. Downpours that started Monday in the province have impacted nearly 399,000 people, according to the provincial emergency management bureau.
On Tuesday, east China's Zhejiang Province raised its flooding emergency response level to the top level along the Qiantang River.
The Xin'an River Reservoir, the largest flood control project in eastern China, unprecedentedly opened all the nine spillways on Wednesday morning to release floodwaters.
It is the first time that the reservoir has opened all the spillways to discharge flood waters since it finished construction in 1959.
In central China's Hubei Province, a landslide caused by heavy rainfall swept away nine people in Huangmei County on Wednesday. Torrential downpours hit the county on Wednesday morning, with precipitation exceeding 200 mm.
The province activated a Grade IV emergency response for natural disaster relief starting from Tuesday noon. The provincial finance department has allocated 50 million yuan (7 million U.S. dollars) in relief funds to aid local disaster relief efforts.
In Anhui Province, local authorities raised its emergency response for flood prevention from level III to level II starting Tuesday noon as the waters of multiple rivers exceeded warning levels.
Severe flooding caused by torrential rain disrupted the college entrance examination in Shexian County on Tuesday, as most of the 2,000-plus examinees were unable to reach their exam sites on time.
The students took the examinations on Wednesday as normal and provincial education authority said the exams on Chinese language and math originally scheduled on Tuesday will be rescheduled for the students on Thursday.