BEIJING, July 2 (Xinhua) — Chinese authorities on Tuesday upgraded the emergency response to disasters triggered by recent severe rainfall and flooding in central China’s Hunan Province to Level III.

The China National Commission for Disaster Reduction has dispatched a team to guide and assist local governments with disaster relief work and rescue efforts, aiming to ensure the basic needs of affected residents.

In response to disasters in Hunan’s Miluo City and Pingjiang County, China’s Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) has dispatched two unmanned aerial vehicles to enhance emergency communication support. More than 560 rescue workers have participated in related flood control and relief efforts.

On Tuesday night, MEM dispatched a further 200 rescue workers and 38 flood drainage equipment sets to support work to combat the floods in Hunan. These additional rescue workers are expected to arrive in impacted areas at 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

Chinese authorities have also arranged for the provision of more than 100,000 pieces of disaster relief materials, including instant food, drinking water and family emergency kits. The first batch of supplies arrived in affected areas of Pingjiang on Tuesday night.

Since mid-June, heavy rains have persisted in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, leading to the continuous rise of water levels and flooding.

Water levels have exceeded warning marks in sections of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River located below an estuary of Dongting Lake, according to the Ministry of Water Resources on Tuesday.

MEM has urged increased attention to geological disasters, the advance relocation of residents of hazardous areas, the prompt restoration of affected flood-prevention facilities and telecommunication infrastructure, and accelerated reconstruction work.