2008-07-24 16:37:44 GMT 2008-07-25 00:37:44 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
XIANGFAN, Hubei, July 24 (Xinhua) -- The torrential rain blasting Xiangfan City in central China's Hubei Province since early Tuesday had left two dead and affected 1.08 million others by Thursday afternoon.
The rain also forced an evacuation of 84,312 people and caused an economic loss of more than 900 million yuan (132 million U.S. dollars), Li Yuehua, Xingfan vice mayor, said on Thursday.
"The rainfall from 2 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday reached 293.9 millimeters, usually the amount of four months. It is the worst since 1959," Li said.
In the main street downtown, the water measured more than a meter deep on Tuesday afternoon.
The rain also forced 80 percent of the city's enterprises to suspend operation. Crops were destroyed on more than 16,000 hectares and six highways were disrupted.
The city government allocated 2 million yuan to ensure the normal lives of those evacuated.