25 Jul 2010

Severe flooding hits China regions

3:48 pm on 25 July 2010

Many thousands of people in China have been moved from their homes as flooding continues to affect several parts of the country.

Premier Wen Jiabao has said that south and central China, reeling from the worst floods in 12 years, could face even more severe deluges. Mr Wen said the situation was at a "crucial stage".

Some 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Sichuan province near the sharply rising Jialing River.

And continuous heavy rain around the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze river has led officials to warn the water level will rise again.

On Friday, the level was the highest it had ever been, while on Saturday it was just 17 metres below the maximum height of 175 metres.

Engineers are pumping water through the sluice gates to try to control the water levels, but must avoid allowing too much to flow to the flooded regions downstream.