WUHAN, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Central China's Hubei Province raised its emergency response level for rainstorms to level III on Thursday as heavy downpours have affected more than 100,000 residents since Aug. 8.
As of 10 a.m. Thursday, the latest spell of torrential rains had triggered multiple natural disasters such as flooding and hailstorm in the province.
Extreme weather conditions have affected 108,700 people in 13 county-level regions, damaged 8,110 hectares of crops and damaged or leveled over 3,600 houses, causing direct economic losses of 108 million yuan (about 16.7 million U.S. dollars), according to the provincial emergency management department.
Yicheng, a county-level city under the administration of Xiangyang City, saw maximum rainfall, with precipitation exceeding 400 mm in Banqiaodian Township between 8 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday, the highest on record. Yicheng activated the highest-level emergency response for flood-control at 4 a.m. Thursday.
Torrential rains are expected to persist until Friday and may cause flooding and other geological disasters, according to forecasts by the Hubei Meteorological Service. It, therefore, decided to raise its response level for the rainstorm from level IV to level III.
China has a four-tier disaster relief emergency response system, with Level I being the most severe.