Rain, floods take their toll in central China

15:17, June 10, 2011      

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Dark cloud come down on the city in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, June 9, 2011. Heavy rainfall hit Wuhan Thursday night, causing waterlogging and power interruption in some areas of the city. (Xinhua)

A new round of rain and floods battered China Thursday night and Friday, killing 35 people in central China's Hubei and Hunan provinces.

Torrential rains triggered floods and landslides that toppled homes and destroyed river embankments in Hubei's city of Xianning, killing 20 people and leaving five others missing, a spokesman with the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said.

Meanwhile, nearly 100,000 people were stranded by floods in three of Xianning's counties, including Tongcheng, Chibi and Chongyang, the spokesman said.

Among the stranded were 209 children in Chongyang County, where a primary school was surrounded by water on all sides, he said.

Chongyang's county chief Chen Wubin said rescuers were approaching the school by midday Friday.

He said the students have all taken refuge on the second floor of the school and are in no imminent danger.

Xianning was battered by rain and floods from 8 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday.

In Tongcheng County, precipitation topped 300 mm within four hours, a record volume.

The entire county was virtually submerged by Friday morning, with more than 60,000 residents left stranded. Fifty-thousand of them were evacuated by 8 a.m. Friday.

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Source: Xinhua
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