LANZHOU - Floods caused by torrential rains and tropical cyclones have left at least 3,222 people killed and 1,003 others missing across China in the first eleven months of this year, government statistics released Tuesday show.
"In 2010, China experienced the worst flooding casualties and damage since 1998," Water Resources Minister Chen Lei said during a national drought and flooding relief workshop held in the northwest city of Lanzhou.
Further, the average accumulated rainfall across China this year has increased nearly 10 percent over levels recorded in previous years. In some areas, the figure shot up five times over that recorded in a usual year.
Nearly 270 towns and cities were flooded, 437 rivers swelled with water and 111 of them broke past records, and thousands of dams faced dangers, Chen said.
Floods also destroyed 2.27 million houses and damaged 17.87 million hectares of farmland, statistics show. The economic loss caused by this year's flooding has reached 374.5 billion yuan ($56.74 million), said officials.
Aside from heavy flood casualty, drought also caused considerable damages this year. At least 16.8 billion tonnes of grains had been lost due to drought as of December 1. Water supply shortage threatened 33.35 million people and 24.41 million heads of draught animals during this period, significantly higher than the average over the past 15 years, official statistics show.