China storm toll tops 500

The toll caused by a tropical storm in China has risen to 523.

    Storm damage in south China will take months to repair

    The number has continued to increase during the past few days as rescue workers discover more bodies, Xinhua, China's official news agency, said on Saturday.

    On Friday the toll jumped from 228 to 482 when officials in the central province of Hunan more than tripled their reported number killed there to 346, Xinhua said on Saturday.

    Chinese state television had said earlier that one of its reporters had discovered that officials in one county in Hunan had intentionally given a lower figure.

    Of Hunan's 346 dead, 197 were in that county, Zixing, which also has 69 of the 89 still reported missing in the province, Xinhua said.

    Following the television report, the ministry of civil affairs warned local authorities not to cover up the toll.

    Nearly three million people also have fled their homes

    and more than 212,000 homes have been destroyed and 287,000 damaged by flooding, landslides and high winds since the tropical storm struck the coast of southern China on July 14.

    A flooded home in Qingyuan, 
    Guangdong province

    At least 99 also died in Guangdong, a crowded province bordering Hong Kong, and 42 were killed in the coastal Fujian province.

    Residents in the affected areas suffered damaged homes, ruined roads and shortages of clean water.

    Adding to the misery, most of south China faces a heat wave, aggravating the threat of an epidemic.

    South China is plagued by rainstorms every summer, but this year's flood season has been particularly deadly, already claiming hundreds of lives before Bilis struck.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.