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Floods displace thousands in central China

More than 27,000 people have been displaced in central China's Hunan Province following heavy rain this past week.

Hunan flood control authority said that 1,826 houses were destroyed in storms in the northwestern and southeastern parts of the province.

At least four large reservoirs opened gates to release water in Hunan. Schools were closed in Jianghua County after several campuses were inundated.

A section of highway near Guidong County was made impassable by a landslide and local authorities estimate that it will take 20 days to clear up the debris.

The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters warned of major floods caused by the Yangtze, Songhuajiang, Huaihe and Pearl rivers bursting their banks.

Meteorologists say the floods are linked to the strong El Nino event, expected to come to an end in May. The current weather front is similar to one that triggered heavy flooding of the Yangtze in 1998, which resulted in 1,320 fatalities.


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