It never rains but it pours on Sichuan, Gansu, Xinjiang and Shandong

China has seen another round of heavy rainfalls over the past three days.

In Southwest China rain-triggered mudslides have cut off access to a pivotal highway in Sichuan Province, although no casualties have been reported, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.

State highway 213, which links Sichuan with Northwest China’s Gansu Province and Southwest China’s Yunnan Province, was referred to as a “lifeline” by rescue workers following the devastating 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan.

The highway was a crucial channel for rescuers who brought aid and supplies to the county’s seat of Yingxiu, where the quake’s epicenter was located, and had just been reopened Saturday after a closure caused by the rainstorm on Friday.

A traffic officer there said that heavy rains triggered at least five mudslides, burying a section of the highway in Yingxiu.

Downpours have wreaked havoc in South and Southwest China since Saturday.

In Sichuan’s Maoxian county, eight people went missing after a mudslide buried a chemical plant dormitory Sunday morning.

Heavy rainfall on Saturday  resulted in floods in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’s Ataile area and has caused damage worth 18 million yuan ($2.8 million) as of on Sunday.

Rainstorms also swept East China’s Shandong Province Saturday, leaving water overflows from seven major local reservoirs.  The average precipitation since Friday has reached 104 millimeters, a 6 percent increase from the same month last year. Reservoirs in Shandong had been pumped dry in June due to a month-long dry spell.

Traffic flow decreased over the newly opened crosssea bridge spanning Jiaozhou Bay of Qingdao during the heavy rain, but no accidents occurred, local police said.

The provincial meterological center of Sichuan issued an orange rainstorm alert 4 pm Sunday, the second most urgent storm alert predicting precipitation of more than 50 millimeters in Chengdu and other regions.

Chengdu has become the fourth major city in China to be hit by sudden and excessive rainfall since June 18 after Wuhan, Bejing and Changsha.

China Meterological Administration on Sunday forecast a southward movement of the rain belt for the next three days, bringing more downpours to Southwest and Central China.

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