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Downpours wreak havoc across China

(Xinhua)

10:05, July 24, 2012

BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Rainstorms since the weekend have ravaged many parts of China, including the capital city of Beijing where the heaviest rain in 60 years caused 37 deaths.

Torrential rain has swept through 17 provincial areas since July 20, leaving 95 dead and another 45 missing, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Monday.

Natural disasters caused by the downpours had affected about 6.23 million people in 264 counties in 17 provincial areas and forced the evacuation of about 567,000 residents, the ministry said in a statement.

Rainstorms also destroyed 29,000 houses and damaged another 55,000.

In Hebei province, 17 people have been confirmed dead and 21 others remain missing in rain-triggered disasters as of Monday afternoon,the provincial civil affairs bureau said.

The bureau said the rain brought floods and hail to 56 counties, leading to the relocation of 155,500 people so far.

Downpours also disrupted train services in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region as railway lines were flooded Monday afternoon.

Ten passenger trains were stranded on the Lanzhou-Xinjiang Railway and the Southern Xinjiang Railway Monday afternoon.

In Sichuan province, water levels in several rivers have exceeded the warning levels and the Luzhou section in the upper reach of the Yangtze River has witnessed the biggest flooding since 1949, according to the provincial flood control headquarters.

In addition, cities of Yibin and Luzhou have been flooded by 2-meter-deep water. About 150,000 people have to be relocated, said the headquarters.

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