CHINA> Regional
Downpours kill 5, affect 600,000 in China's Yunnan
Updated: 2008-07-03 20:03

KUNMING  -- Heavy rain that has drenched southwestern China since Monday has left five dead, with more than 600,000 people affected in Yunnan Province, local authorities said on Thursday.

More than 2,100 houses collapsed and 14,200 others were damaged by the rain, according to statistics tallied as of 4:00 p.m. on Thursday by the provincial civil affairs department. About 2,500 people were evacuated from their houses and are living in tents.

Tuesday's rain here in the provincial capital was the third-highest volume since records began in 1951. As much as a meter of water flooded the center city after a six-hour storm on Tuesday night, swamping major thoroughfares and shops.

By Thursday afternoon, the water had been diverted except for a few low-lying neighborhoods.

Forecasters said more rain is due in most of the province in the next two days, and residents were ordered to take precautions against possible flooding.