2008-07-07 03:49:23 GMT 2008-07-07 11:49:23 (Beijing Time) China Daily
Heavy rainstorms that swept most parts of China from last Tuesday till the weekend have affected around 3 million people, leaving at least 12 dead and seven missing.
Storms that have swept through the Enshi prefecture of Hubei province since Friday left at least eight people dead, two missing and about 785,000 affected.
Yunnan province on Saturday also reported that six people were killed by the torrential rain.
The new wave of rainstorms has resulted in the suspension of shipping services in the Three Gorges section of the Yangtze River, blocked traffic in cities, delayed flights, destroyed homes and flooded farmland.
Twenty-five cities and counties in Hubei, which the Yangtze River runs through, reported damage worth 700 million yuan ($102 million).
As of 5 pm on Saturday, another four people were reported missing in the province, and more than 26,600 people had been evacuated, according to the provincial civil affairs department.
The provincial government has sent four task forces to investigate the damage, while relief materials, including food, bottled water, tents and clothes have been sent to the affected area.
Yunnan, where the rainfall over the past 48 hours reached a record high, reported three missing, 11 injured, 9,800 evacuated and more than 1,000 houses collapsed, according to the provincial civil affairs department.
The atrocious weather also triggered floods in the Yangtze River, where two huge hydroelectric projects, the Three Gorges and the Gezhouba, both started discharging water to lower water levels in reservoirs.
China's central meteorological administration forecast yesterday that torrential rains would sweep southern China in the coming three days.