3.5m affected by floods in China

(BBC News)
Updated: 2007-07-03 18:56

More than 3.5 million people in China's central province of Hubei have now been affected by the heavy rain which has been lashing the country over the last five days.

Storms first hit the region towards the end of June and have sparked flooding and landslides which have killed 26 people and forced over 70,000 to leave their homes.

Despite the rains easing over the last 24 hours, the Yangtze, and many other major rivers running through Hubei remain dangerously high. Officials are continuing to monitor the levels hoping that the water will begin to recede before any more significant rainfall hits the region.

The flooding has caused a huge amount of economic damage with government officials estimating losses at just over $100 million. Since the start of this year more than 40 million people have been affected, with over 118,000 homes now destroyed.

Flooding is a huge problem in China, with over 2500 people dying from floods and typhoons last year.

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