Sichuan rainstorms leave 8 dead, 6 missing

Updated: 2011-07-08 09:04


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CHENGDU - More heavy downpours in Sichuan Province since Monday evening has left two dead and six missing, bringing the rain-caused death toll to eight since June 30, the provincial flood control office said Thursday.

Continuous downpours have wreaked havoc in Sichuan since last Thursday, affecting more than 1.5 million people in four cities and 21 counties in the province, according to the flood control office.

From 8 pm Monday to 8 pm Wednesday, 46 monitoring spots from 16 counties have registered over 100 mm of rainfall, while precipitation at two spots exceeded 300 mm.

The downpours and rain-triggered floods have leveled about 10,000 houses and forced nearly 170,000 people to relocate, the office said.

Also, some 50,000 hectares of farmland were submerged in the agricultural province.

Rain-triggered mudslides have also cut off traffic on several highways.

A pivotal highway in the province, national highway 213, which was referred to as a "lifeline" by rescue workers following the devastating 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, was cut off due to mudslides at several sections.

Another highway, national highway 317, was also blocked by a mudslide at about 6 pm on Wednesday.

After repair work through the night, Highway 317 was reopened to small cars Thursday morning, while the lane for large vehicles was being repaired, according to government officials of Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) Thursday arranged an emergency shipping of 3,000 tents and 10,000 cotton-padded quilts to flood-hit areas in Sichuan from a government relief materials storage base in Chengdu, according to a ministry statement.

Also as part of China's emergency responses to the floods, the ministry along with the National Commission for Disaster Reduction (NCDR) Thursday dispatched a disaster relief and survey team to the flood zone in Sichuan.

Currently, the special work team is overseeing the flooding situations and assisting in the relief work in the municipality of Bazhong, Sichuan Province, the MCA statement said.

In Sichuan's neighboring Shaanxi Province where a rain-triggered landslide left 18 people dead and four injured in Lueyang County Tuesday, over 200 people living near the mudslide site have been relocated.

The county government is offering each evacuee 0.5 kg of grain and 10 yuan (US$ 1.55) daily. It also will give each of the four injured 4,000 yuan in condolence payments, said Yang Ruiliang, head of the county government.

In northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, hailstorms lashed the city of Bei'an Wednesday night and Thursday morning, and destroyed 20,000 mu (1333 hectares) of crops, said Wang Deyou, deputy chief of the municipal Agriculture Bureau.

Two people are missing and four people were pulled out of debris alive after two rain-triggered landslides hit Taiyanghe Township of the city of Enshi in central China's Hubei Province Thursday.

Tropical cyclones and typhoons are forecasted to hit or seriously affect southern China's Guangdong Province with three or four tropical cyclones expected between July and September and a typhoon forecasted in August or September, according to the provincial flood control headquarters.