BEIJING - Heavy rain swamped south China on Thursday,
bringing new misery for hundreds of thousands of villagers made homeless by
violent floods which have killed at least 76 people.
Rain would drench parts of seven provinces until the weekend, the National
Meteorological Centre forecast on its Web site (www.mmc.gov.cn).
People wade through a flooded street in Liuzhou, south
China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, June 13, 2007.
Torrential downpours, mudslides and floods have already battered the
provinces of Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Jiangxi and Fujian since last
week, prompting the evacuation of 788,000 people, the Civil Affairs Ministry
Lightning and landslides killed another two in Guangxi over the past two
days, bringing the death toll in the southwestern region to 15, Xinhua news
Chinese newspapers on Thursday showed a picture of villagers holding
vegetables and wallets above their heads as they waded chest-deep water in
Liuzhou in Guangxi.
In the worst-hit Meizhou municipality in the northeast of Guangdong province,
officials warned evacuated villagers who returned to inspect their inundated
houses not to stay long.
"More strong rainfall is forecast for the day and we have been ordered to
make sure people stay in their tents and other safe places," a local official in
Huangjin township told Reuters by telephone.
"The houses are also very likely to collapse after being submerged in water
The government has been clearing blocked roads to distribute food, clothes
and medicine to Huangjin's 24 villages.
"It seems most villagers will have to live on government rations in coming
months as the rice crops were all destroyed," he said.
In Ganzhou in neighbouring Jiangxi province, eight people were killed and
rivers and reservoirs were overflowing, the local government said.
Authorities in Zhejiang have also warned of landslides and mudslides as
rainstorms sweep through the eastern coastal province, Xinhua said.
By Tuesday, flooding and mudslides had caused direct economic damage of about
4.7 billion yuan ($615 million), with 69,000 homes and 1,360 square km (525
square miles) of crops destroyed, the Civil Affairs Ministry