WUHAN, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Four rounds of rain are forecast to batter the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River later this month, creating further challenges for already intense flood control efforts, according the Yangtze's flood control and drought relief headquarters.
The earliest storm is expected to arrive on Wednesday and last until Saturday, while another three are forecast by the end of July, said a spokesperson for the headquarters at a press conference on Monday.
The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze and the northeastern part of Sichuan Province are likely to receive 20 percent more precipitation between July and September than usual, according to forecasts.
Since March, 27 rounds of heavy rain have pounded the river basin and caused severe flooding. Downpours since June 30 in 11 provincial regions left 164 people dead and 26 missing as of Friday morning, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The headquarters urged no letup in the battle against floods, which are common in late July and early August.
Chen Guiya, deputy director of the Yangtze River Water Resources Committee, said the rain would put more stress on the middle and lower reaches than the upper reaches, where reservoirs have capacity for another 28 billion cubic meters of water.
Vice Premier Wang Yang warned in mid-June that China, affected by El Nino, may face basin-wide floods this year.