2 killed in rainstorms ravaging Chinese provinces

19:44, May 19, 2010      

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The rainstorms pounding southern China have killed at least 2 people in eastern China's Fujian Province and prompted floods and landslides in Hunan, Guangxi, Jiangxi and Guizhou Provinces, local authorities said Wednesday.

One person was injured in the rainstorm that hit Fujian's Jianyang City Tuesday afternoon, according to a statement from the municipal government which gave no details.

BANKS FLOODED, AGRICULTURE AFFECTED IN CENTRAL HUNAN PROVINCE

Sixty-seven bank branches have flooded since rainstorms started to hit the province in April, provincial banking authorities said.

Hunan's banking regulatory bureau ordered soaked cash be transported by cash trucks from flooded banks in Huaihua, Zhuzhou and Yongzhou Cities, Li Saihui, the bureau's deputy head, said.

Security has been strengthened to ensure the cash trucks' safety, which drove along flooded roads amid the rainstorms, he added.

Some banks in Hunan have sent staff to the worst-hit regions to offer small loans to farmers to help them recover, he added.

The rainstorms are also damaging Hunan's agriculture.

Nearly 68,000 hectares of grain-growing lands have flooded since rains began May 6, according to the provincial agriculture department.

The rains will delay the harvest and reduce Hunan's grain production, according to a statement from the provincial agriculture department. Hunan is a key grain-production base for China. It produced 10 billion kilograms of grain in 2007.

RAINSTORMS RAVAGE OTHER PROVINCES

A thunderstorm Wednesday delayed more than 30 flights in Shenzhen City in south China's Guangdong Province and forced 14 inbound flights to land in airports in other places.

Rainstorm started hitting the northern half of Guangdong in the morning. Many cities issued high-level alerts for flooding, landslides and other rain-triggered disasters.

According to forecasts of Guangdong's meteorological bureau, the rainstorm will continue for at least four days.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, nearly 15,000 residents had been evacuated in eastern Jiangxi Province, according to a statement from the provincial flood control office.

Hail the size of ping pong balls preceded the rainstorm. But no casualties had been reported, it said.

In southwest China's Guizhou Province, rainstorms damaged and caused the closure of several highways, traffic authorities said.

Since April 1, 16 provinces have suffered floods which have caused direct economic losses of about 10.3 billion yuan, said the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters Tuesday.

A total of 13.67 million people have been affected by the floods. Seventy have been killed and 21 are missing.

The floods have also affected 835,000 hectares of crops and destroyed 74,000 houses.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:祁澍文)

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