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Floods in China kill 50, 40 others missing

June 11, 2011 - New Delhi

Atleast 50 people were reported dead and 40 others missing in floods and landslides in some provinces of China.

At least 23 died and 10 were missing in the worst-hit Xianning, Hubei province, said a spokesman with the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

"Most of the deaths and injuries were caused by collapsing buildings after floods destroyed embankments, and 60,000 residents in Xianning's submerged Tongcheng county have been relocated to safe places by late Friday," the China Daily quoted Zhang as saying.

He also said torrential rains have affected about 680,000 residents, toppled 6,744 homes and inundated 639 square kilometers of farmlands in the province.

The direct economic loss from the disaster could reach 610 million yuan (94 million dollars), he added.

In Hunan province, the flood has killed at least 19 people, and 28 went missing. The disaster has affected 1.4 million residents in 19 counties, the China News Service reports.

In Jiangxi province's Xiushui county, about 26,000 people were evacuated and 1,200 stranded after their homes were hit by torrential rains.

The National Meteorological Center has issued a blue rainstorm alert, the lightest in the country's four-level rainstorm alert system.

According to the provincial meteorological station, this summer's first tropical storm may land in South China's Guangdong province over the coming weekend, likely resulting in landslides in coastal Guangdong and Fujian provinces on Saturday.

The chief weatherman with the center, Lin Jian, attributed the sudden shift from drought and downpours to an interruption of the monsoon.

An agricultural meteorology expert with the center, Mao Liuxi, said the flooding would not likely have a negative impact on China's grain production, as high temperatures in the south later this year would ensure normal production.


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