Fri, Jul 20, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Record rains kill 31 across China

DELUGEJinan and surrounds received 180mm of rain in three hours, while Chongqing was inundated with 266.6mm of rain between Monday night and Tuesday afternoon

AP , BEIJING

Record-breaking rainstorms left 31 people dead, 171 injured and eight missing in eastern China, state media reported yesterday, raising the nationwide death toll from heavy rains to at least 79 this week.

The deaths occurred when rainstorms hit Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, on Wednesday night, Xinhua news agency said

The city and surrounding area received a record 180mm of rainfall in a three-hour period. The storms also stalled traffic and cut electricity and water supplies for three hours, Xinhua reported, citing the city government.

The report did not specify how the victims died.

Several parts of China have been hit by floods, lightning strikes and droughts in the last several months, killing hundreds of people and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

Earlier this week, lightning strikes and mud flows triggered by record-breaking torrential rains killed at least 37 people in the western province of Sichuan and neighboring Chongqing City, an independent municipality.

In Chongqing, 266.6mm of rain fell between Monday night and Tuesday afternoon - the largest volume since records began in 1892, Xinhua reported. The previous record of 206.1mm was set on July 1996, Xinhua said.

Deadly flooding is a perennial problem in China, with floods killing hundreds of people, destroying 118,500 homes and affecting more than 42 million people so far this year, according to the national flood control office.

Millions of people in China live on reclaimed farmland in the flood plains of rivers.

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