CHINA> Regional
Four killed in landslides as rain batters Guangdong
By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou and Lan Tian in Beijing (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-05-26 11:15

Heavy rain has continued to lash most parts of Guangdong province after triggering landslides that claimed four lives on the weekend.

Four killed in landslides as rain batters Guangdong
A man checks a minivan which capsized in a pit of water formed after days of heavy rain in Shenzhen on Sunday. The driver and two passengers escaped. [China Daily] Four killed in landslides as rain batters Guangdong

Two of the victims died after a landslide took down a house in the province's northeast Xingning county on Friday night. The two others were buried under piles of mud and stones in a Dongguan factory on Sunday, the provincial flood control and drought relief authorities said yesterday.

Some 70 observation sites have reported precipitation of more than 250 mm, the provincial weather authority said, adding that the province was on a level III emergency alert.

Since Friday night, Guangdong has received 1.54 billion cu m of rain, it said.

The Tanjiang River in the western part of the province recorded a depth of 2.5 m yesterday, 40 cm higher than the warning level. The Moyang River also swelled to 5.8 m at noon yesterday, it said.

The water is expected to release into the sea quickly as the upper reaches of the Pearl River did not experience heavy rainfall, a notice issued by the provincial flood control and drought relief said.

Water levels of four estuaries of the Pearl River, including Xijiang, Dongjiang, Beijiang and Hanjiang rivers, have not reached warning levels, it said.

Following the downpour, Guangdong reported an estimated economic loss of up to 200 million yuan ($29 million), with about 800,000 hectares of flooded farms.

It is estimated that "more than 100,000" houses in the province, and more than 130 hectares of vegetable farms in Zhongshan, have been flooded.

"The farmers are busy gathering vegetables to avoid further losses," Chen Jinbiao, director of the Zhongshan agricultural bureau, said.

In Jiangmen, the hardest hit city, seven houses and five piggeries were destroyed, though no human casualties were reported.

Heavy rain has also hit Guangxi, Jiangxi, Yunnan, Hainan, Zhejiang and Hunan, as well as Henan, Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang during the last few days.

Floods have killed 15 people and two remain missing since the flood season began early this month, the Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said.

Nationwide, the floods resulted in a direct economic loss of 885 million yuan.

The China Meteorological Administration said yesterday that more rainfall was expected to hit the eastern and southern parts of the country in the next three days.

Meanwhile, the possibility of a flood in the lower and middle reaches of the Yellow River has been on the rise, Liu Ning, vice-minister of water resources, said on Sunday.

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