WUHAN, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Central China's Hubei Province raised its emergency response for natural disaster relief from level IV to level III starting from Wednesday noon, as incessant downpours have wreaked havoc across vast areas of the province.
Parents of students taking the national college entrance exams (gaokao) wait outside the exam site on Tuesday in Shexian county in Huangshan, East China's Anhui Province. Local authorities canceled the Chinese language and mathematics tests on the first day of the exams this year due to heavy rainfall. (Photo: VCG)
The recent rounds of heavy rain since July 4 have claimed two lives and affected more than 2.55 million residents across Hubei as of Wednesday morning, according to the provincial emergency management department.
About 65,000 people have been relocated and 45,200 people need living assistance, the department said.
Rain and flooding also damaged a large area of farmland and more than 1,000 houses and toppled over 400 ones.
Hubei has a four-tier emergency response system for natural disaster relief, with level I representing the highest.