New round of torrential rains leaves dozens dead in S China

10:32, June 18, 2011      

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Rains and flooding in south China have left 25 people dead and 25 more missing over the past five days, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Friday.

The heavy rains, which made for a third round of torrential rains in June, have been falling since Monday, battering ten southern provinces and forcing about 671,200 people to evacuate their homes as of 5 p.m. Friday, according to a statement posted by the ministry on its website.

The flood control office of southwest China's Sichuan Province said late Friday that rainstorms since Thursday night have killed three people and left 17 missing in the province.

Ensuing floods, landslides and mudslides pelted several southwestern regions, as well as areas along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the statement said.

The statement said that nearly 40 percent of the 295 counties affected by the current rainstorms were also hit by the two previous rounds of heavy rains.

Figures from the ministry showed that direct economic losses resulting from this round of rainstorms amounted to 12.85 billion yuan (1.98 billion U.S. dollars), which is more than the combined direct economic losses that resulted from the two previous rounds of heavy rains.

On Thursday, China's central authorities upgraded its emergency response level to level 4, the highest level, and sent disaster relief teams to the provinces of Zhejiang, Anhui and Jiangxi, where heavy rains have triggered fatal floods.

The rainstorms will continue to batter the country's southern and eastern regions over the weekend, according to the National Meteorological Center.

Source: Xinhua
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