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50 dead, 42 missing in China floods

Updated: 2012-06-30 14:40
( Xinhua)


50 dead, 42 missing in China floods

A driver calls for help after his car gets stranded on a flooded street in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, June 27, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]


BEIJING - Floods triggered by strong rainfall that has been battering many parts of China since June 20 have left 50 people dead and 42 missing, new figures from the Ministry of Civil Affairs have showed.

According to the ministry, more than 10.4 million people have been affected by downpours in 399 counties in Inner Mongolia, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan and Guizhou, with 1.247 million in urgent need of aid, as of 10 am Friday.

Torrential rain also toppled 34,000 houses, damaged another 89,000 and rendered 738,000 hectares of crops unharvestable in these regions, resulting in direct economic losses worth 10.3 billion yuan ($1.62 billion).

According to the ministry, some of the affected provinces have been battered by numerous rounds of heavy rain since April while other usually water-starved regions, including Inner Mongolia autonomous region, have suffered record levels of rain that have seen many of their crops ruined.

The ministry noted that more than half of the affected counties and cities are in the country's impoverished regions and ethnic areas where local residents with already limited means of self-support largely rely on government aid.

Local governments in disaster-hit regions have poured more than 90 million yuan into living aid, including 20 million yuan allocated in Inner Mongolia -- one of the hardest-hit areas, said the ministry.

Vowing to keep close track of how these disaster unfold, the National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the ministry promised to trigger emergency responses in a timely manner and offer relief guidance for affected areas.

Persistent rain continues in south China. In the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, the death toll from week-long rainstorms has risen to 11 as of Friday, according to the regional civil affairs department.

More than 1.35 million people have been affected and direct economic losses of 864 million yuan have been incurred in the region.

50 dead, 42 missing in China floods

A man rides a bicycle on a flooded street after rain in Liuzhou, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, June 28, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]

Another round of storms are expected to arrive in Guangxi from June 30 to July 1 as a result of the upcoming tropical depression Duksuri, which will land in Guangdong on early Saturday, according to a local observatory forecast on Friday.

In neighboring Guizhou province, three people were killed and another was injured in a rain-triggered landslide on Friday afternoon.

At least three people had been confirmed dead and 38 others are still missing as of Friday after a rain-triggered mudslide hit a a construction zone on Thursday morning in Southwest China's Sichuan province.