China flooding leaves dozens dead

State media says more than 40 killed and over 10,000 stranded, as rainfall reaches record levels.

    Over 10,000 people are stranded because of floods in the county, state media said [EPA]

    A new round of flooding across central China has killed more than 40 people, state media has reported.

    Torrential rains triggered floods and landslides that toppled homes and destroyed river embankments in Hubei province, killing 22 people and leaving five others missing, the Xinhua News Agency said.

    The cities of Yueyang and Changde in neighboring Hunan province also reported 19 deaths and 28 people missing following landslides early on Friday.

    In addition to the deaths, over 10,000 people were stranded by floods in the country, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported on Saturday.

    A total of 111,000 people from the cities of Xiangyang, Huanggang and Xianning were relocated to safer places, Xinhua reported, citing local civil affairs authorities.

    In Xiannang's submerged Tongcheng county, over 300mm of rainfall fell within four hours, a record volume, while flood waters in its low-lying areas were more than 2m deep, Xinhua reported.

    Electricity and telephone services had been cut off by the floods.

    Flooding also wreaked havoc in southeast China.

    In Jiangxi province's Xiushui county, about 26,000 people were evacuated and 1,200 stranded after their homes were hit by torrential rains early Friday.

    Army mobilised

    Heavy rainstorms and the ensuing floods smashed Yueyang City of Hunan Province on Thursday, affecting more than 200 hectares of crop fields and more than 80,000 people - 30,000 of them seriously - with an estimated direct economic loss of $20.8m.

    The strong rainstorm lasted for six hours, dropping a precipitation of 142mm, rare in the local area.

    The city mobilised 610 soldiers and firefighters as well as more than 800 local officials and 120 inflated boats and kayaks and rescued 15,000 stranded people.

    In the small hours of Friday, a residential quarter in the city was flooded, threatening the life and property of more than 400 dwellers.

    Forty-eight armed police officers and men rushed to the spot and worked for six hours to evacuate all the residents.

    Meanwhile, a tropical storm may become the first to land in China this year, local meteorological authorities said on Friday.

    Tropical Storm Sarika was about 530km south of the city of Shantou in southern Guangdong province and was predicted to make landfall in Guangdong or nearby Fujian province on Saturday, according to the provincial meteorological station.

    SOURCE: AP


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