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Flooding kills 288 in 22 areas across China
By Guo Nei (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-08 08:52

The death toll this week in China from flooding, mud slides and other water-related calamities has risen to 288 throughout 22 provinces and autonomous regions, officials said Wednesday.

By Tuesday, more than 33.3 million people had been directly affected with about 31 million hectares of farmland inundated and 130,000 houses destroyed, according to the State Flood-Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

"So far this summer, overall damage resulting from the disasters has not yet moved beyond the nation's average recorded in the corresponding period from the 1990s," the agency said, indicating the worst may not yet have come.

Although intense rain has hit some areas since the beginning of flood season, China's major rivers like the Yangtze and Yellow have so far remained below their alarm levels.

But tens of thousands of locals have been plagued by flooding on some local rain-swollen rivers with some villages and towns inundated.

Following heavy rains from Central China to Southwest China since the late June, severe mountain torrents, mudslides and landslides have occurred in Hunan, Yunnan, Guizhou provinces as well as the Xinjiang Uygur and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous regions.

In the past two days, at least 13 people were killed by mountain torrents Dehong Prefecture in Yunnan with 41 victims still missing.

Authorities were forced to withdraw 360 stranded locals to safer ground.

Ten people were killed either by mountain torrents or flash floods in Guizhou, Guangxi and Xinjiang with two injured. Seven others have been missing since last Sunday.

Emergency authorities have dispatched a work team for Yunnan - the worst-hit province - to help in ongoing rescue operations.

By press time yesterday, all victims of the calamities have been settled with social order remaining normal in the disaster-stricken areas.

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