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China steps up flood preparations after storms
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) May 27, 2013


China is stepping up monitoring of water levels in its rivers and reservoirs, the government said, after rainstorms hit the south earlier this month and left dozens of people dead or missing.

Parts of southern China are prone to rainstorms during spring and summer.

Pictures from Guizhou province at the weekend showed people trying to push cars along roads wheel-deep in muddy brown water, and people wading through water halfway up their thighs.

Torrential rains this month, sometimes accompanied by hail, had killed 55 people and left another 14 missing by May 17, according to the latest available official national toll from the ministry of civil affairs.

New storms struck nine provinces and municipalities across the country over the weekend, with the levels of some rivers exceeding danger lines, said the ministry of water resources.

Authorities have ordered local governments to increase reservoir and dyke patrols to "stamp out risks", it said in a statement on Sunday.

"We can never slacken over anti-flood work," it said, adding the rains were moving to the east.

Last year 673 people were killed and 159 went missing in floods across the country.

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Saudi researchers say drones could warn of desert flash floods
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (UPI) May 22, 2013
Researchers in Saudi Arabia say they're working on a drone system that could track potentially deadly floods in real time to sound an alarm before they hit. Flash floods are a risk in the country; at least 13 people died when floods hit parts of Saudi Arabia earlier this month, and two years ago more than a hundred died when thunderstorms saturated land to the east of the Red Sea port o ... read more


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