The death toll from the continuous rain in southern China that began on May
28 has risen to at least 93, with 11 people reported missing.
Nearly 12 million people in nine provinces, regions and municipalities have
been affected by the weather, and at least 560,000 people have been evacuated,
the Ministry of Civil Affairs reported on Friday.
A policeman helps push a cart for a local
resident in a flooded street in Wuzhou, a city in south China's Guangxi
Zhuang Autonomous Region Thursday, June 8, 2006. Mud-rock flows caused by
heavy rain had killed 12 people Thursday in the urban areas of Wuzhou,
according to local government official. [AP]
The direct loss has reached 7.66 billion yuan (US$957.5 million) so far, the
The disasters have drawn the attention of Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-Premier
Zeng Peiyan, who called for measures to keep the number of deaths, injuries and
economic losses to a minimum.
The Ministry of Land and Resources issued an urgent notice requiring local
governments to redouble their efforts on prevention and the aftermath of
landslides and other geological disasters.
Fujian Province, the hardest hit by the rain and resulting disasters, has
been given 40 million yuan (US$5 million) by the ministries of civil affairs and
Since the end of May, 45 people have been killed by floods, landslides and
mud-rock flows there.
The downtown area of Jian'ou in the city of Nanping was submerged at one
point, with water in some areas as high as 6 metres.
The rain also pelted the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in South China,
where 14 people have died since Monday and 112,000 people have been evacuated,
civil affairs officials said.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs said it would send a team to the region on
Saturday to help with rescue work.
Wuzhou, a hilly city in the region, has taken the worst battering, with 13 of
the deaths and 24 injuries; 16,000 locals were evacuated.
"Try to imagine that one-fifth of a year's average rainfall has been poured
on the city in just eight hours," said an official with the autonomous region's
civil affairs department who gave only his surname, Pan.
Local weather statistics showed that Wuzhou receives an average 1,500
millimetres of rain per year, but in eight hours on Thursday, the city received
But amid the tragedy and difficulty caused by the rain, Leizhou Peninsula in
the southwestern part of South China's Guangdong Province has been in the grip
of severe drought since the beginning of the year.
"The drought has greatly affected water use for farms and led to insufficient
drinking water supplies," said Wang Jinshan, director of the Leizhou
Friday's high temperature was 34 C, Wang said, adding: "It's the worst
drought in the area in 60 years."