48 dead, 65 missing in Northwest China floods

Updated: 2007-08-12 08:48

At least 25 people were killed after torrential rains hit northwest China's Shaanxi Province over the past four days, bringing the death toll in this flooded region to 48.

It included the death of 23 people in Shangluo City as of August 1, according to local flood control authorities.

At least 65 people remained missing. Of the total, 28 were washed away by torrential floods in Shangluo in July and 37 were engulfed by floods after downpours stroke many cities and counties in central and southern Shaanxi on Tuesday, according to the provincial flood control office.

In the city of Ankang, rain-triggered floods have affected 420,000 people and toppled down more than 9,600 houses, resulting in 233 million yuan (30.8 million U.S. dollars) in economic losses.

The provincial government has launched emergency disaster-relief schemes to help the affected people.

In another tragedy in southwest China's Sichuan Province, at least 10 people were killed and two missing as a mud-rock flow hit a hydropower station late Friday.

An unexpected mud-rock flow hit a hydroelectric power station under construction in Ya'an City around midnight Friday, engulfing a group of construction workers who managed to escape. Three were injured.

About 150 soldiers and police officers are still busy searching the missing.

In the eastern province of Shandong, 12 large and medium-sized reservoirs opened spillways on Saturday due to continuous rainstorms since Thursday, the strongest in this flooding season.

Water levels in another 18 large and medium-sized reservoirs have exceeded the warning lines, according to local flood control authority.

Precipitations averaged 62 mm in Shandong. The cities of Qingdao, Yantai and Weihai recorded maximum rainfalls of 100 mm.

Across the country, 1,279 people died and 239 went missing in natural disasters in the first seven months of this year, figures released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs earlier this week showed.

In July, when frequent rains and floods were reported, 712 people died and 163 went missing.

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