Lightning, rainstorms kills 48 in China

Updated: 2007-06-27 09:44

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At least 48 people have been killed in rainstorms in southern and eastern China over the last five days, with 37 succumbing to lightning strikes, Xinhua News Agency said Tuesday.

Twelve people remain missing following the storms, which drenched areas including the lower reaches of the Yangtze river, Xinhua said.

Fourteen rural residents were killed in a lightning strike on Sunday when they were working in fields in Jiangxi province, the report said.

A 56-year-old woman and her 14-year-old grandson also died when they sought shelter under a corrugated iron roof, the report added, while two residents of Nanchang city were killed while they huddled under a tree, also on Sunday.

In nearby Zhejiang province, five people building a tomb were killed in a lightning storm, Xinhua added.

The villagers were constructing the tomb on a small hill when the storm struck Monday, the news agency reported, citing a police spokesman.

An uprooted tree falls on the roof of a house as residents displace household items after a rainstorm in Shangrao, East China's Jiangxi Province June 25, 2007.  [Newsphoto]

The lightning storm killed the five instantly while another villager was injured, the report added.

There have been regular thunderstorms in recent days in the area and the local meteorological station had warned residents of the threat, Xinhua said.

China's extreme weather has killed at least 155 people in flooding this year, while about two million people were suffering from drought in the north, the government said Monday.

Local meteorological officials in Jiangxi have warned that lightning storms and downpours will continue until Wednesday, the report added.

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