July 15: Rainstorms continued to hit central China's Henan and Hubei provinces, with nearly 10 million people affected in the two provinces. Hundreds of thousands of villagers in east China's Huai river basin, already suffering the region's worst flooding in 50 years, have been told to brace for more heavy rains this week. Government authorities warned that water levels along tributaries feeding the Huai river, which originates in central Henan province and runs east through densely populated and impoverished parts of Anhui and coastal Jiangsu provinces, were rising again and threatening to breach embankments. The Mengwa area, where crops and homes of 157,000 people have already been submerged, faces another bout of deliberate flooding to ease pressure at Wangjiaba. Authorities have already flooded nine buffer zones along the Huai to relieve more than 2 million flood-hit residents in Henan. Further south, officials in Hunan province were battling to contain a plague of more than 2 billion rats fleeing the rising waters of Dongting Lake. Scientists blamed China's massive Three Gorges Dam project and climate change for the rodents, whose flight to dry land has seen them ruin cropland in some 22 counties surrounding the lake.
Nature has a way of continually surprising us and inspiring awe within us, and it seems there are just as many fantastical wonders t...