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Tropical Rainstorm Chanthu Inundating Southern China

By By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist
July 23, 2010, 6:01:42 AM EDT

Chanthu has lost its typhoon status but remains a serious threat to lives and property as it unleashes flooding rain over southern China and neighboring Vietnam.

Chanthu will continue to drop torrential rain over the southern Chinese states of western Guangxi and eastern Yunnan, as well as far northern Vietnam. The rain near the border of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and China is not directly related to Chanthu.

Chanthu will then push farther westward across Yunnan on Saturday. Later in the weekend and early next week, the system and its heavy rain will get drawn into the zone of persistent storminess that extends into northern India.

Chanthu will unleash several inches of rain across southern China and neighboring parts of northern Vietnam into Saturday. The mountains will endure the heaviest rain totals.

The rainfall alone being produced by Chanthu threatens to trigger serious flash flooding and dangerous mudslides. Since Chanthu follows recent rounds of torrential rain, flooding problems will quickly occur and ongoing flooding will worsen.

China has been hit especially hard by inundating rainfall this year. The resultant flooding has left more than 701 people dead with another 347 missing, according to the Associated Press.

Chanthu has been blamed on the deaths of at least three people. Xinhua News Agency reports that two people died when Chanthu's strong winds blew over a wall.

Despite the flood danger, powerful winds are no longer accompanying Chanthu. The system lost its typhoon status after slamming onshore well before daybreak Thursday, EDT.

Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews reported that Chanthu made landfall near Wuchuan, China. Maximum sustained winds at that time where estimated to be near 85 mph, the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane.

The mountainous terrain of southern China quickly caused Chanthu to weaken into a tropical storm, then a tropical rainstorm.

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