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Heavy Downpours Affect 7 Million in Anhui
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Heavy rain has affected more than 7 million people along the Huaihe River in east China's Anhui Province and caused economic losses of 3 billion yuan (about US$395 million), the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said on Thursday.

Rainfall has averaged about 100 millimeters along the Huaihe River in the past week, and in some areas, it has exceeded 230 millimeters, according to the headquarters.

About 667,000 hectares of cropland have been submerged and the relentless rainfall has caused the water in the Huaihe River, China's third longest waterway, to creep above the danger level.

The local authorities have made sluices to let the water flow into the buffer areas to prevent serious flooding.

Forecasters predict another round of heavy downpours in the area over the next four days.

Statistics from the state flood control and drought relief headquarters show over the past weeks that floods have caused 233 deaths and destroyed 118,500 houses in 18 areas, while drought in the north has left nearly 7.4 million people short of drinking water.

The Huaihe River cuts across China between the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, running through Henan Province in central China and east China's Anhui and Jiangsu provinces.

(Xinhua News Agency July 6, 2007)

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