Death toll rises to 101 in flood-hit south China

Updated: 2007-07-10 01:16

Floods have caused seven more deaths in the provinces of China, bringing the death toll to 101, a spokesman with the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Monday.

Another 26 people are missing as a result of torrential rain which began lashing the Huaihe River valley, the eastern area of Sichuan Province and the southern area of Shaanxi Province on June 28.

About 28 million people have been affected and nearly 800,000 people in Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan, Chongqing and Shaanxi had been evacuated by 4:00 p.m. on Monday.

More than 75,500 houses have collapsed and another 295,600 have been damaged.

Altogether 2.13 million hectares of farmland have been affected, with agricultural losses estimated at 3.7 billion yuan (about 485 million U.S. dollars) while total direct economic losses could reach 6.9 billion yuan, according to the spokesman.

In Hubei Province, seven people have been killed in heavy rains and floods -- two were swept away by floods, three were killed after houses collapsed, one was pummeled in a mud-rock flow and another was hit by lightning, said Liu Hui, an official in charge of disaster relief with the Hubei Provincial Department of Civil Affairs, on Monday.

In Anhui Province, 11 people have died in the floods, which have also affected nearly 10 million people, forced the evacuation of more than 120,000 people and caused more than 2.3 billion yuan of direct economic losses, Li Hongta, director of the Anhui Provincial Department of Civil Affairs, told an anti-floods conference on Monday.

In the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, the heaviest rainstorms in the past decade brought up to 385 mm of rainfall to some districts of the city over the weekend, according to the Nanjing Municipal Meteorological Station.

Meanwhile, more than 14,000 thunderbolts hit Nanjing between Saturday morning and Sunday morning, about 10 thunderbolts a minute, damaging some city infrastructure such as subway power equipment.

Heavy rains also triggered mountain torrents, landslides and mudflows.

A village in Daxian County of Sichuan Province was destroyed completely by a large landslide at about 9 a.m. on Saturday, only a few minutes after more than 2,000 villagers had been moved to safety. The villagers from Yanmen Village, Qingning Township, have found temporary shelter in two local primary schools.

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