CHONGQING, July 18 (Xinhua) -- A new round of torrential rain in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality has left 11 dead and forced 21,500 residents to evacuate, authorities said on Saturday.
Some 550,000 residents in 31 districts or counties have been affected since rainstorms started battering the municipality on Tuesday, said the flood control and drought relief headquarters of the city in a statement.
Some 23,000 hectares of crops were damaged and over 1,000 houses were destroyed, said the statement.
Days of torrential rains have raised water levels of the Yangtze and Wujiang rivers. The water level at a hydrological station along Wujiang, a major tributary of the Yangtze River, rose by 5.55 meters to 225.03 meters, exceeding the alert level early Saturday.
Water levels of minor rivers and streams in the eastern part of Chongqing are expected to rise further.
This year's second flood of the Yangtze River on Saturday morning passed through the city proper section of Chongqing, with the highest water level approaching the alert mark.
In Ciqikou, an ancient town located on the banks of the Jialing River, some shops in the low-lying areas were inundated on Saturday morning.
Zhao Jiaping, director of the emergency management office of the town, said residents and tenants had been notified to prepare for evacuation.
Shipping services along several sections of the Yangtze River were also restricted from Friday. Enditem