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Floods and typhoon kill dozens in China

Typhoon Utor has triggered floods and landslides in China, while other parts of the country suffers from drought.

Last Modified: 18 Aug 2013 07:34
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Rescue teams are being sent for thousands of people trapped by rainfall-triggered flooding [Reuters]

Dozens of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands forced to evacuate their homes in China as the country deals with severe flooding in the northeast and a typhoon in the south, according to state news agency Xinhua.

The death toll has risen to 37 in northeast China, Xinhua reported on Sunday, while 140,000 people had been forced to leave their homes

More than 2,500 homes have been destroyed and at least 12,500 others severely damaged. Thousands of square metres of farmland in the region are under water.

CCTV said local authorities were expecting the highest water levels in thirty years along one stretch of the Heilongjiang river, with the biggest surge forecast for next Saturday.

In Hunan in central China, Xinhua reported five confirmed dead and four missing in Lanshan County after Typhoon Utor brought torrential rain to the city.

Five villages and towns in Lanshan had been marooned by the floodwaters, with rescuers only able to reach them on foot.

As the typhoon moved further south into Guangxi province, Xinhua said it had killed at least six and affected another 650,000 people. Another two people were reported buried by a landslide in a nearby village.

Rescue teams were sent on Saturday for about 3,000 residents trapped by rainfall-triggered flooding in Longwo township of southern China's Guangdong province.

Serious flooding

Typhoon Utor hit Guangdong on August 14 and unleashed heavy rainfall in Heyuan city, which led to the serious flooding.

According to rough statistics, there were 183 collapse-damaged sections to all the roads in Longwo, besides 266 landslides.

The rain continued in the area.

Meanwhile in central China's Hubei province, the meteorological centre recently issued a red alert on drought for the first time in history, upgrading drought index to "extreme drought" in over 40 cities and counties of the province.

A red alert, the highest for drought, is issued when drought index reaches to "extreme drought", or when 60 percent of farm crops are affected.

Mid-season rice, which is in the grain filling period, will be forced to ripen early by the heat and leading to reduced production. Corn is also in a key period for production, as well as cotton.

Moreover, insect attacks will be further increased.

A total of 1.6 million hectares of farmland have been affected by drought by August 16, with nearly 1.9 million people and 487 thousand livestock lacking drinking water.

In response to persistent drought, 34 counties and cities have urgently opened reservoirs, pump stations, water gates for drought control.

Drought conditions will continue to worsen in Hubei over the coming week, the Wuhan meteorological centre said.

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