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Hu visits flood-hit city, week's death toll 152
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08:27, July 23, 2007

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President Hu Jintao visited flood-hit Chongqing Municipality yesterday and vowed to help the hundreds of thousands of affected people as last week's death toll rose to 152.

Heavy rain has devastated nearly half of the country, with floods, landslides and mud-flows killing at least 400 people since the beginning of the rainy season in May, Xinhua News Agency said.

Forty-two people have died and 12 are missing in Chongqing city alone. More than 300,000 people have been evacuated.

China Central Television last night showed Hu wading through Chonqqing's flooded streets in black galoshes to visit residents.

Hu was shown talking to a senior citizen in a rain-damaged house, asking: "How high did the flood water rise? Are you having any problem getting enough food? Do you have all the things you need to cook?"

Addressing residents in the city's flooded Shapingba District, Hu said the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the government both were concerned over their welfare and would do everything possible to provide relief to them.

"You all have suffered," Hu told a crowd that had gathered on the street. "This once-in-a-century rain has destroyed your homes and washed away your belongings, causing significant losses. I am as sad as you. We must have the determination and courage to overcome this."

Hu spent Saturday and yesterday in Chongqing, and also met People's Liberation Army personnel engaged in relief work.

Southwest China's Yunnan Province was perhaps the worst hit last week, with 59 people being killed, most of them in violent mud-flows on Thursday.

Rescuers recovered two more bodies from the Xiaojiangping Dam near the Sujiahekou Hydropower Station in Tengchong county yesterday.

The provincial civil affairs department said 163 people have been killed and eight are missing in Yunnan since late May, and more than 5 million people have been affected.

East China's Shandong Province is among the worst hit, with 40 people killed and nine missing. And about 112,600 people have been shifted to safer areas. Heavy showers and landslides have also caused extensive damage to the province's transport and telecommunication network.

Hundreds of thousands of people are working in Anhui Province to prevent the dikes of the swollen Huaihe River from breaching. The river has received the largest volume of floodwater since 1954.

Water flowing at above-danger level in the river for 19 days can breach the dikes in the next 10 days if rain continues at the present rate, officials of the flood control headquarters in Anhui Province said on Saturday.

Source: China Daily/agencies



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