XINING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Floods have killed 25 people and left another three missing in northwest China's Qinghai Province in the first week of July, local authorities said Thursday.
About 41,000 people in 22 counties in seven prefectures had been affected by the floods as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, the provincial civil affairs bureau said in a statement.
The floods, caused by torrential rains in the normally dry highland region, have toppled 687 houses and damaged 5,679 others, and have resulted in a direct economic loss of 103 million yuan (15.2 million U.S. dollars).
Local authorities have allocated 500 tents, 5,000 cotton-padded quilts and 5,000 mattresses to hard-hit Golmud City.
China's flood control authority, the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, on Thursday launched a level IV emergency response after floods hit parts of Qinghai.
A serious flood hit the Golmud River basin in Qinghai, due to recent rainstorms and melting snow, said a statement on the office's website.
Wenquan Reservoir, a large reservoir filled by a tributary of the Golmud River, reported a dangerously high water level only about 3.02 meters from the dam's top at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, said the report.
But the water had stopped rising at a rapid rate and no other dangers were found except for some small leaks in the embankment, said the statement.
The Office has dispatched a task force to the reservoir, as well as teams from Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality to fight the flood, said the statement.
The Office also stressed the need for flood relief efforts along the Yangtze River as strong rains are expected to hit the area in the coming days.
Torrential rains have battered many parts of south China over the past weeks. Figures from the Ministry of Civil Affairs show that around 260 people have been killed and 211 left missing in 11 provinces since rainstorms hit south China on June 13.
Under a level IV emergency response, monitoring of emergencies will be stepped up and reported to the State Council.