Heavy rainstorms along with lightning and hail since last week have hit many
parts of China, killing nearly 50 people, destroying farmland and sweeping away
On Monday afternoon, lightning killed five people building a tomb in
Zhejiang. Altogether 48 people have died and 12 are missing after a week of
heavy rains and thunderstorms that swept up the Yangtze River valley and across
Nearly 10,000 people were evacuated, thousands of houses collapsed and
thousands of acres of farmland were destroyed, according to a report on the
central government's Web site (www.gov.cn).
Lightning was the main cause of death, claiming 37 of the victims. In Jiangxi
on Sunday, lightning struck 12 farmers while they were working in the fields,
and a grandmother and grandson were killed when they sought shelter from rain
under a corrugated iron roof, the Xinhua news agency said.
Two urban residents in the province also died from lightning strikes while
huddling together underneath a tree, it added.
The months from May to September are flood season in central and southern
China as torrential rains, typhoons, tropical storms and lightning hit densely
In the summer of 1998, deforestation contributed to heavy flooding along the
Yangtze and in northeastern China. Some forecasters have said that this summer
shares the same conditions of heavy snowmelt and hot weather.
"Should a flood as serious as 1998 happen, the pressure for inflation will be
strengthened in the near term, but (is) unlikely to change the underlying
inflation trend," JP Morgan analysts Grace Ng and Qian Wang said in a research
report on Tuesday, that examined the potential loss of grains output and impact