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13 killed, 3 missing in central China rainstorm


14:33, August 07, 2012

WUHAN, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Thirteen people are dead and three remain missing following a strong rainstorm that battered the city of Shiyan in central China's Hubei Province from Saturday night to Monday morning, local authorities said Tuesday.

The rainstorm has also injured at least 725 people in the city.

Maximum precipitation surpassing 400 mm has triggered floods and landslides in the city, affecting 120,000 households and causing direct economic losses of 790 million yuan (124 million U.S.dollars), the municipal government said.

The storm has also forced 44,518 residents to relocate and destroyed 4,420 houses, the government said.

Traffic on two national highways and four provincial highways was disrupted by rain-triggered floods. Telecommunication services in affected areas have been suspended for 15 hours.

The rains also caused 72,700 households to lose power, although 28,200 households had regained power as of 11 a.m. Tuesday following repairs conducted by the municipal power company.

Three of the company's employees went missing on their way to fix electrical facilities when their vehicle was flooded early Monday morning. The body of the vehicle's driver was found on a riverbank Tuesday morning, according to the company. Rescuers are searching for the other two workers.

Irrigation channels, levees and water pipes have also been damaged to varying degrees, the municipal government said.

Rescuers are still searching for the missing. Roads and telecommunications facilities are being repaired.

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