Water levels remain dangerously high
More than 300,000 people have been working around the clock on levees covering 2,000 kilometers in Hunan province, as major waterways remain at dangerously high levels, despite heavy rainfall having subsided.
The provincial water resources authority said the level of the Xiangjiang River, a major tributary of the Yangtze River, has dropped to 39.07 meters in Changsha, down from a record-high 39.44 meters on Sunday.
According to forecasts, the water level will remain above the warning level for three more days in Changsha, the provincial capital, and the neighboring cities of Xiangtan and Zhuzhou.
Water levels in the Yangtze River will remain dangerously high for even longer. At Chenglingji, a key monitoring station, the water is expected to stay above warning level for a week.
The Hunan government has mobilized 302,700 people to conduct flood control work.
Among them are employees from about 300 noodle restaurants in Changsha. The team began participating in flood control work on Saturday, and started cooking noodles for those fighting floods on Monday.
"We have lived in Changsha for about 10 years and see the city as our second home. It's our responsibility to contribute," noodle chef Ma Weishan told China News Service.
To facilitate flood control work, 5.5 million woven bags and 5.5 million square meters of waterproof cloth strips have been dispatched to the province, according to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.
Since Friday, heavy rain in southern China has killed 56 people and left another 22 missing in 11 provincial regions, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Tuesday.
It also said a total of 27,000 houses collapsed and 37,000 others were damaged due to floods, landslides and hailstorms in these regions, including Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangxi provinces, with direct economic losses estimated at 25.27 billion yuan ($3.71 billion).
On Monday, the central government allocated 1.88 billion yuan to 20 provinces for disaster relief.
The ministry and the China National Commission for Disaster Reduction have sent teams and materials, including 3,300 tents, 24,000 folding beds and 30,000 blankets, to assist disaster-hit areas in Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan and Guizhou provinces.
Xinhua contributed to this story.