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1 million people affected by torrential rains
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Torrential rains continued to lash China on Wednesday, affecting almost 1 million people, disrupting traffic and threatening reservoir safety.

About 1,880 homes collapsed as the heavy rains hit the eastern Zhejiang Province and the southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

In Zhejiang, the rain affected more than 930,000 people and more than 70,000 hectares of crops, halting production at 286 factories and forcing the closure of 115 roads, local officials said.

Water levels in at least five reservoirs in the province had risen above warning levels as of 5 a.m. on Wednesday.

Preliminary estimates put the losses at 860 million yuan (US$124 million).

Meteorological authorities in Zhejiang said the region would face more heavy rains in two days and urged local government officials of possible flood dangers.

In Guangxi, where one person was killed and around 920,000 were affected, the heavy rain brought down more than 1,000 homes, affected 40,000 hectares of crops, forced the closure of 149 roads and damaged 20 reservoirs.

Damages to utility lines and irrigation facilities were also reported.

The National Meteorological Center is forecasting the rain will sweep across provinces and municipalities, including Jiangsu, the quake-hit Sichuan, Hunan, Anhui, Zhejiang and Shanghai in the next few days.

(Xinhua News Agency June 11, 2008)

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