Rain storm leaves at least 5 dead in central China

14:21, May 07, 2010      

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Torrential flood overflow the streets and submerge residential houses in Shuiche Town of Xinhua County, central-south China's Hunan Province, May 6, 2010. Five people died and two others were missing after gales and driving rain struck Xinhua County from late Wednesday night. (Xinhua/Guo Guoquan)

Heavy rain from Wednesday night to Thursday has left five people dead and two missing in Xinhua County in the central China province of Hunan.

The rain had triggered 1,620 geological accidents, including landslides and mud flows, and burst the banks of 53 reservoirs, which caused the casualties, said a spokesman for the provincial flood control headquarters.

"Water flooded into 18 townships, cut telecommunications in four townships and toppled more than 1,300 houses," he said.

More than 21,000 people were evacuated from their homes late Thursday, he said. Schools suspended classes for safety concerns.

The provincial weather station on Friday forecast moderate rain in the storm-hit region over the next three days.

A violent rain storm and gales Wednesday and Thursday left 29 people dead and one missing in the southwestern Chongqing Municipality, said the Ministry of Civil Affairs Thursday.

Casualties were also reported in neighboring Guizhou and Guangdong provinces on Thursday after rain-triggered landslides.

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