Wed, May 12, 2010
China > Mainland > Rainstorms sweep southern China

At least 70 dead, millions affected as rainstorms batter southern China

2010-05-09 09:42:16 GMT2010-05-09 17:42:16 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from fierce rainstorms ravaging southern China this week has climbed to 70, with five people previously listed as missing in Jiangxi Province being found dead on Sunday.

The rainstorms have affected millions in the provinces of Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Jiangxi, Guangdong and Hunan, and more storms are forecast for coming days.

The rainstorms began battering southern China on Wednesday.

As of Friday, the storms had affected up to 2.55 million residents and 100,000 hectares of arable land, and toppled 9,900 houses, the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said in a statement on its website.

The rainstorms triggered flash floods and mud-rock flows, swollen rivers, burst dikes, threatened reservoirs, and damaged highways, bridges and power and telecommunication facilities.

The office has ordered local authorities to closely monitor the development of rainstorms, prevent disasters like floods and landslides, and provide early warnings.

The office has also dispatched work teams to the storm-hit regions to help in the relief effort.

In Hunan, about 5,000 reservoirs are threatened by rising water levels.

In Jiangxi, 264,600 people have been affected, and 5,884 homes have been toppled. Direct economic losses are estimated at 526.6 million yuan.

Local authorities are relocating residents and repairing damaged facilities.

Strong rains are forecast to pound Jiangxi and Hunan province in coming days, according to local meteorological authorities.

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