GUIYANG, July 8 (Xinhua) -- A new round of storms is expected to pound China's southwest province of Guizhou, where a rain-triggered landslide more than one week ago left 99 villagers dead or missing, local weather forecast authorities announced Thursday.
For six days beginning late Thursday, most parts of Guizhou will experience heavy rainfalls, including sporadic storms or thunder storms, said the provincial meteorological bureau.
It on Thursday set the province-wide storm alert to III, the second highest on a four-level alert scale.
"The upcoming storms are very likely to trigger mud flows, landslides or other disasters because the rainfall is forecast to be strong and would last for days," the bureau said in a statement.
Government departments were urged to beef up prevention efforts and to enhance the monitoring of disasters-prone areas such as reservoirs and low-lying areas.
This develops as a heat wave scorched large swatches of China, including parts of southwest China, from last weekend.
Guizhou was struck by a string of natural disasters caused by extreme weathers one after another this year.
In the latest tragedy, 99 people were buried when a rain-triggered landslide engulfed Dazhai Village in Guanling County on June 28. Rescuers have discovered 42 bodies, but gave up searching for the remaining 57, saying no traces of life were detected at the wreckage site.
By Thursday, 485 people have died while 225 remain missing following floods and other storm-related disasters that hit 25 provinces in China this year, the latest government figures show. The direct economic losses have amounted to 90.9 billion yuan.