Hundreds of thousands of Chinese are leaving their homes due to floods (VIDEOS)

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese are leaving their homes due to floods.

Floods in mountainous areas in southwestern China have swept away roads and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes, with authorities warning on Wednesday that the giant Three Gorges Dam is on the brink of flooding.

CCTV footage shows murky water flowing at the feet of a giant Buddha statue - a 71-meter-tall figure - carved into a rock in Sichuan Province. CCTV said the floods had not reached Buddha's feet since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

Rising waters spilled over sandbags piled up to protect the statue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination overlooking three merging rivers.Video footage showed soldiers evacuating residents wearing life jackets - many of them elderly - from Fengzhou County against the statue, helping them get into boats. About 1,020 people were stranded in Fengzhou, suffering from food and water shortages after water disrupted traffic, Xinhua reported.

More than 100,000 people have been evacuated from the cities of Yaan and Leshan due to the floods. Elsewhere in Sichuan, 21 cars crashed into a large pothole caused by a road crash on Wednesday, although the state-run Global Times said no one was injured. Xinhua said floods are expected to reach the provincial capital of Chongqing later this week.

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