Thu, June 16, 2011
China > Mainland > China battles floods

Fierce floods ruin crops and livelihoods

2011-06-16 03:30:29 GMT2011-06-16 11:30:29(Beijing Time)  China Daily

XIANNING, Hubei - Chen Xingong, 60, the owner of a 10-square-meter grocery store in Yongan town, Xianning city, endured a gloomy day on Wednesday when his small shop was flooded by sudden heavy rain.

According to Chen, he was asleep when the noise of the rain woke him at 1 am.

"I was very worried about the goods in my shop, so I hurried there at once," he said.

Chen said his store was flooded at 2 am, and the water level continued to rise little by little until it was about 1.6-meter deep.

Fang Hongyun, 58, Chen's wife, told China Daily that the five members of the family depended on this small store.

"I was very upset, but there is nothing I could do about it," she said.

Fang added they would lose a lot of money in the flood and that she was afraid they would not receive any compensation from the government.

According to the flood control and drought relief office in Xian'an district, the strong rains have affected 280,000 people, causing a direct economic loss totaling 600 million yuan ($93 million).

"Among the losses, the worst hit was the crop harvest," Hu Jianfang, a local official said.

About 18,000 hectares of crops were affected and at least 1,722 hectares are likely to yield no harvest.

Zhou Heping, head of Xian'an district's water conservancy bureau, said although he had been in office for only three months, he felt he had being doing the job for 300 years.

"First the district was hit by the severe drought, now by these terrible floods," he said, adding that on taking office he had prepared for the flood season.

Around 1,900 officials and workers have been employed on the frontline during the floods and 32,000 people have been transferred to safety.

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