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|Thursday, June 08, 2000, updated at 16:50(GMT+8)|
Flooding Kills Dozens in Sichuan, GansuAt least 74 people in Gansu and Sichuan provinces have died this year in floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains, and the worst of the forecasted flood season yet to come.
Torrents of water caused by days of downpour rushed down mountains in Gulin and Shuyong in the Bazhong Prefecture of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, killing at least 38 people and leaving six others missing, according to the Beijing-based State Flood-Control and Drought Prevention Headquarters.
On May 31, floods in Dangchang and Minxian counties of Northwest China's Gansu Province killed 36 people and left thousands homeless, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Local media said the storms caused "the worst flooding of Gansu in 150 years." The media said floods destroyed 1,345 houses and affected 180,000 people in the two counties, which are 400 kilometres from the provincial capital of Lanzhou.
Direct economic losses were estimated at 178 million yuan (US$21.4 million), according to sources from the provincial disaster-relief working group.
The provincial government has allocated 5 million yuan (US$602,400), 800 quilts, 10,000 articles of clothing and 120 tents as relief for flood victims.
No cases of epidemic diseases have been reported in the flooded area so far. "Regional floods have been a growing threat to local people's lives and their properties, as many locally run small and mid-sized reservoirs were found to have been operated dangerously," Zhao Chunming, a senior flood control official warned.
Zhao urged local authorities to pay close attention to the safety of their flood-control facilities, particularly to ageing sluices in their smaller reservoirs.
A quarter of China's medium-sized reservoirs and two-fifths of its smaller ones have safety hazards such as seepage due to disrepair, said Wang Shucheng, minister of water resources.
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