Mon, Jul 23, 2007 - Page 5 News List

One week of rain kills 152 in China, 386,000 evacuated

AP , BEIJING

The death toll from a week of rain-triggered floods, landslides and mud flows in China has risen to 152, with hundreds of thousands of people evacuated from their homes, state media said yesterday.

Since the start of the annual rainy season last month, floods have hit nearly half of China's regions and killed at least 400 people, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Worst-hit in the last week was southern Yunnan Province, where rain triggered floods and landslides from Wednesday to Saturday.

More than 4,000 houses were destroyed and 386,000 people evacuated, Xinhua said. It cited the Ministry of Civil Affairs as saying that 59 people were killed in Yunnan, most of them caught in violent mud flows on Thursday.

Shandong Province and Chongqing were also badly hit, with rain inflicting severe damage to infrastructure, transportation and telecommunications, Xinhua said.

In Chongqing, 42 people died and 12 have been reported missing, it said. Another 300,000 people have been evacuated.

"The rainstorms' intensity and poor drainage systems are to blame," He Zhiqiang, chief of the technology department of Chongqing Municipal Facilities Bureau, was quoted as saying by the China Daily newspaper on Saturday.

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

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