CHONGQING, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Relentless rain continued to wreak havoc in several southern Chinese provinces Tuesday, disrupting train services, flooding highways and forcing thousands of people to evacuate their inundated homes.
Two rail routes in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, linking the southwestern provinces of Sichuan and Guizhou, were impassable affecting more than 50 passenger trains, railway authorities said.
Trains traveling to and from big cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Urumqi, Kunming, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, were forced to bypass the flooded sections or be suspended over safety concerns, the railway bureau of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, said in a press release.
"Thousands of passengers had to be transferred onto replacement bus services," it said.
The deadlock was made worse after a landslide covered a section of track linking Chengdu and Chongqing Monday. Railway authorities have sent more than 140 workers, two excavators and four drills to clear the rubble and reinforce the roadbed.
It is unknown when the rail service will return to normal.
The stormy weather also plagued drivers in Chongqing. A tunnel on an expressway in Youyang County was flooded Tuesday and 60 people, in two buses and 10 cars, were stranded for several hours before they were evacuated.
Chongqing has suffered the most in the latest round of bad weather, which began Monday. In Qijiang District, more than 212.4 mm of rain fell from Monday evening to midday Tuesday.
Qijiang River, a tributary to the Yangtze River, is dangerously high. A flood crest reached downtown Qijiang at 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, inundating many riverside homes and stores.
"The flood happened so suddenly. I had no time to move any of my stock," according to Mr. Yuan, an auto-parts shop owner. "All I can do is wait until the flood subsides to see if anything can be saved."
More than 7,000 riverside residents in Qijiang District had been relocated as of 5 p.m. Direct economic losses have been estimated in the region at 65 million yuan (9.78 million U.S. dollars).
Hubei Province in central China is also on flood alert, as 11 cities and counties have experienced heavy rain. The provincial government has issued flood alarms as water levels in 787 reservoirs have risen above the danger mark.
Thunderstorms also battered the provinces of Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Jiangsu and Anhui Monday and Tuesday.