China floods kill 50; dozens remain missing

11:29, June 11, 2011      

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Photo taken on June 10, 2011 shows a house surrounded by the flood at Guanshan village of Zhanqiao Township, Linxiang, Yueyang City, central China's Hunan Province. Torrential rain hit most parts of Yueyang city Thursday night, causing mud-rock flows in Guanshan village. China's flood death toll continued to rise Friday, with 15 more confirmed dead in the central Hunan Province alone. (Xinhua/Guo Feng)

A new round of rain and floods battered central China Thursday night and Friday, killing 50 people and leaving 40others missing in four drought-plagued provinces.

Torrential rain triggered floods and landslides that toppled homes and destroyed river embankments in central China's Hubei Province, killing 25 people and leaving at least 12 others missing as of Friday evening, said a spokesman with the provincial civil affairs department.

So far, more than 127,500 people were forced to evacuate their homes and the floods have caused direct economic losses of 866 million yuan (133 million U.S. dollars) in the province, said the spokesman.

Most of the deaths were reported in the city of Xianning, which was hit by heavy rainfall from 8 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday.

More than 100 people were injured in the floods in Xianning, said a spokesman with the city's flood and drought control headquarters.

In the city's Tongcheng County, which was virtually submerged in water, precipitation topped 300 mm within four hours, a record volume in 200 years.

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