Flood cuts off water, power supplies in NW China

Updated: 2007-08-31 11:47

Torrential rain over the past two days have cut off water and power supplies in a northwest China county that is one of the few habitats of the critically-endangered giant pandas.

The fourth flood to ravage Foping county, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, this year also caused three injuries, left one person missing and forced more than 4,000 to evacuate, the county government said.

It estimated the county had suffered at least 50 million yuan (US$6.4 million) in direct economic losses.

The downpour on Wednesday and Thursday, averaging more than 180 mm, triggered a string of mountain torrents, mud-rock flows and landslides in the suburbs of the county, said a spokesman.

Most streets in the county proper were drowned, with pools of water and slush measuring more than one meter deep.

Water and power supplies in the county were cut off. Maintenance work is continuing on Friday.

Altogether 13,000 people in the county were affected as the downpour drowned 470 hectares of cropland and flooded more than 5,000 homes, the government said.

Rescuers are still searching for a 58-year-old woman who was reported missing in the flood. Family members suspected she was buried in the ruins of collapsed houses.

Nothing is known as yet of the rain's impact on the giant pandas' community in Foping County, a nature reserve in the Qinling Mountains and home to about 273 giant pandas.

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