Death toll rises to 64 in torrential rains

Updated: 2008-05-31 06:56

NANNING -- A total of seven more deaths from China's torrential rains were reported on Friday, raising the overall death toll to 64.

As of Thursday midnight, 57 deaths were reported.

All the newly-confirmed deaths were reported in the southwestern areas with four in the worst-hit Guizhou Province and two in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

In Guizhou, where 43 people were killed by flash floods, more than 130,000 locals were affected. A total of 19 cities and counties were flooded as a new round of downpour began to hit the province on Thursday night.

In Ceheng County, local firefighters crept along a slippery cable to save Luo Zhongyuan, a local farmer who was carried away by a flood from upstream and trapped on a hillock amidst a rising river for as long as four hours.

Luo was the third person firefighters had saved over the past few days when the torrential rains posed great danger to locals.

Of the two deaths in Guangxi, one was killed by lightning and the other was killed when a flash flood wiped out his house.

More than 700 houses collapsed and 13,800 hectares of crops were affected. Losses were estimated at 60 million yuan ($8.6 million).

According to the local meteorological observatory, the rain will continue to soak most parts of the region in the coming days.

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