Torrential rain leaves 16 dead, 66 missing in SW China's Sichuan

18:03, August 20, 2010      

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An aerial view taken from a helicopter shows the Wangchang village surrounded by flood in Pujiang County, Chengdu City, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, Aug. 19, 2010. Heavy rains hit Chengdu from Aug. 18 to 19, causing flood around the area. (Xinhua/Gao Xiaowen)

Sixteen people have been killed and 66 others are still missing in rain-triggered floods and landslides in southwest China's Sichuan Province over the past week, a local official said Friday.

Downpours have hit 67 counties in 14 cities and prefectures since Aug. 13, affecting 5.76 million people, said Yan Weidong, director of the Provincial Emergence Response Office.

About 3,600 homes have collapsed, 25,000 others have been damaged, and 55,000 hectares of crops have been flooded, he said. Direct economic loss was estimated at 6.89 billion yuan (1.02 billion U.S. dollars).

In the hardest-hit areas, including Qingping Township, Yingxiu Township and Longchi Township, floods and mudslides have cut off roads, communications and power supply.

On Thursday, two train carriages plunged into a river after floods destroyed a bridge on a railway line in Sichuan Province.

No one was injured as the train had made an emergency stop to let off passengers before it attempted to cross the river.

China has suffered the worst floods in at least a decade this summer.Floods and other rain-triggered disasters have left at least 2,300 people dead and 1,200 missing nationwide this year.

In Gansu Province, which neighbors Sichuan, floods triggered by torrential rain on Wednesday have left 42 people dead, 24 still missing and 339 injured in two cities close to the mudslide-stricken Zhouqu, the Provincial Civil Affairs Department said Friday.

The floods also caused estimated economic losses of about 3.4 billion yuan (500 million U.S. dollars) in the cities of Longnan and Tianshui, it added.

As of Thursday, the massive Aug. 8 mudslide in Zhouqu, Gansu Province, had left 1,364 people dead and 401 others missing.

Source: Xinhua


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