China floods: Huai river alert level raised amid heavy rains

Media caption,
China's flood response alert has been raised to the second highest level

China has raised the flood alert level on a river in the east of the country after days of heavy rainfall.

Officials have moved the alert warning on the Huai river from Level III to Level II, the second-highest tier, amid fears of further torrential downpours.

Heavy rains have swept across China for weeks, from the southwest to the east coast.

At least 14 people have reportedly died in the south of the country due to the flooding.

Millions have been evacuated and thousands of troops have been deployed across the country to help shore up defences.

"Floods are occurring at the same time at the Yangtze River, Huai River and Tai Lake...The flood prevention situation is very severe," the water resources ministry reportedly said.

The 1,100km (683 mile) Huai river passes through the provinces of Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu and several major cities, including Fuyang, Xinyang and Huainan.

Officials said 10 reservoirs on the Huai had seen water levels rise by up to 6.85m (22ft).

China typically endures flooding in the rainy summer months, but there are concerns the downpours this year could disrupt global supplies needed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic - including personal protective equipment (PPE).