Torrential rains leave 36 dead, 21 missing in central China province

08:48, June 13, 2011      

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A bucket excavator clears rubbles at mudslide-leveled Yunshan Village of Yueyang City, central China's Hunan Province, June 11, 2011. Eighteen were killed and 28 reported missing after downpours saturated the land in most parts of Yueyang and brought about deadly mudslides Thursday night and Friday morning. (Xinhua)

Torrential rains have left 36 people dead and 21 others missing in central China's Hunan Province, said local authorities.

As of Sunday, the downpours, which started to pound 11 cities and prefectures in Hunan Thursday, have affected 3.61 million people, according to a spokesman with the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The heavy rains and floods toppled 17,300 rural houses and forced the evacuation of 149,000 people across the province, with the direct economic losses estimated at 2.22 billion yuan (about 340 million U.S. dollars), according to the spokesman.

Parts of Hunan recorded levels of precipitation not seen in the region for 300 years, said the spokesman.

Provincial meteorological authorities have forecasted a new round of rainfalls from Monday to Friday.

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Source: Xinhua
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