Chinese regions as far apart as Sichuan in the southwest and Gansu in the northwest are at heightened risk of natural disasters in the coming days amid another round of torrential rain, the country’s weather bureau said on Thursday. Parts of the east coast, including the Bohai Bay region, and the provinces of Shandong and Jiangsu are also set to face hurricane-force winds, the China Meteorological Administration said. The port cities of Qingdao and Rizhao in Shandong were the latest to see record-breaking daily rainfall on Wednesday, while the provinces of Jiangxi and Anhui on the Yangtze River issued new red alerts early on Thursday. The Ministry of Water Resources said 93 rivers remained above warning levels, adding that the Three Gorges reservoir, China’s biggest, would need to be closely monitored as incoming floodwaters surged. “The current flood control situation remains severe and cannot be relaxed in any way,” it said. Regions throughout China have been ordering emergency evacuations as a result of landslides, burst riverbanks and mountain floods. China has vowed to take a scientific approach to controlling floods and has made use of early warning systems as well as its dams and reservoirs to try to minimise the damage. More than 45 million people have been affected since the flood season began in June, with 142 reported dead or missing, but the figure is lower than usual, Xinhua said on Wednesday. The direct economic cost of the disasters was just over 160 billion yuan (US$22.9 billion) and also lower than the five-year average, it said. However, experts said the heaviest rainfall in decades had exposed the country’s overreliance on giant feats of engineering like the Three Gorges Dam, to regulate and use its water supplies.