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10 dead, 2 missing in central China rain
Updated: 2008-07-24 09:02

WUHAN -- Ten people died and two were missing after rain lashed central China's Hubei Province from Sunday to Wednesday.

As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the weather-triggered floods had forced 100,000 people to evacuate. Nearly 3 million people were affected, the Hubei Provincial Civil Affairs Department said.

About 11,500 houses had collapsed or were damaged. The weather had caused direct economic losses of more than 1.2 billion yuan (US$176 million) for the province.

Large swathes of crops were also destroyed.

From Sunday through Wednesday, the storms had hit many areas in Hubei, inundating residential communities, cutting off roads and damaging communications and power facilities in the worst hit Xiangfan and Enshi cities.

The urban area of Xiangfan City had precipitation of 280 mm from 2 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday. This was the heaviest storm to hit the city since meteorological records began in 1959, according to the local government.

Flooding inundated roads, street shops and factories in downtown Xiangfan. By Wednesday evening, the major roads had resumed normal traffic.

The rain also caused more than 300 creeks in hilly areas to flood and the water level of 434 reservoirs to exceed safety limits, according to the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The department has allocated 200 tents and 500 quilts to Enshi. A working team from the Ministry of Civil Affairs will go to Xiangfan to direct the relief work.

The Wuhan city meteorological station forecasted the province would have cloudy weather or showers on Thursday and Friday.