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Rainstorm Resets Meteorological Records
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The torrential rain that lashed many parts of China on Tuesday reset meteorological records, authorities said on Wednesday.

Between Monday night and Tuesday afternoon, Chongqing, a city in southwest China, received 266.6 mm of rainfall within the city proper. This is the largest recorded volume since 1892, according to the municipal meteorological bureau.

The bureau added that the previous record was set on July 21, 1996, when Chongqing received 206.1 mm of rainfall.

Heavy rain continued in the city proper on Wednesday morning. The sky is still overcast and traffic is at a standstill on most urban roads.

Earlier reports reported the rain triggered landslides and mud-rock flows in 22 of Chongqing's 40 counties and districts in the southern, central and western parts. Ten people were killed, five went missing and 128 people were injured.

On Tuesday the downpour stranded more than 5,000 passengers at the Jiangbei International Airport in Chongqing.

The disastrous weather also wrought havoc in nearby Sichuan Province, where five people were killed due to landslides and lightning strikes.

The Provincial Disaster Relief Office announced on Wednesday that more than 270,000 evacuees in east China's Anhui Province have yet to return home due to floods that have battered 15 cities and 69 counties since the beginning of July.
According to the office floods in Anhui have killed 30 people and affected nearly 16 million.

The province is still on flood alert as the third flood crest passed through the Wangjiaba section of the Huaihe River on Tuesday.

The flood crest, though posing no immediate danger, pushed up water levels. Wangjiaba, a key hydrological station in the middle reaches of the river, reported 28.95 meters at midday on Tuesday. The danger line there is considered 27.5 meters.

In northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the worst rainstorm in recorded history began on Tuesday. It disrupted traffic and communications in some areas and stranded more than 1,000 people.

The regional capital of Urumqi alone received an average of 63.2 mm of rainfall between 6:00 PM on Monday and 11:00 AM Tuesday. This is the largest volume ever in recorded history, the municipal meteorological bureau reported.

The rain also postponed an excavation planned for Tuesday of a landmark tomb located on northern Xinjiang pasturelands.

In Beijing, an arid city most of the year, an early morning thunder shower has swept away the sauna weather. Wednesday's high temperature is forecast at 26 degrees Celsius.

The local meteorological station reported that Central Beijing received between 20 and 40 mm of rainfall, while some outer areas received around 100 mm.

Within the city proper the rain stopped at approximately 9:00 AM. But cell phone subscribers have received text warnings from the meteorological bureau forecasting torrential rain in most parts of the city during the day and possible geological disasters in the northeastern suburbs in the afternoon.

(Xinhua News Agency July 18, 2007)

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