36 killed, 23 missing in fresh floods in China | world | Hindustan Times
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36 killed, 23 missing in fresh floods in China

world Updated: Aug 17, 2010 13:21 IST

Heavy rains continued to cause loss of life in China with 36 more people killed and 23 declared missing in fresh floods in northwest China's Gansu Province, already hit by the country's worst mudslide early this month.

The casualties were caused after torrential rains triggered floods yesterday in the Longnan City of Gansu.

The Gansu province was already hit hard by the country's worst mudslide over a week ago in which 1,254 people were killed and 490 others were missing in Zhouqu County.

Floods in Longnan City that swept away at least 36 people are the latest in a series of rain-related natural disasters to have hit China this year.

Floods and other rain-triggered disasters have left more than 2,300 people dead and 1,200 missing nationwide this year.

Heavy rains have lashed several counties in Longnan city since last week, triggering landslides, Xinhua said.

While more than 6,000 homes have collapsed, flooding has also cut off electricity and damaged roads.

In Zhouqu, the scene of the devastating landslide, rescue workers sifted through the debris using bulldozers and cranes to look for the missing persons.

Meanwhile, China's National Disaster Reduction Commission issued an urgent circular yesterday, ordering civil affairs authorities across the country to step up measures to control floods and other rain-triggered disasters.

The circular came amid weather forecasts predicting two more periods of heavy rainfall across the country, which has suffered the worst floods in at least a decade this summer.

"The civil affairs authorities must closely monitor the development of torrential rains and guard against flooding, geological disaster and other rain-triggered disasters," it said.

Further, it ordered the evacuation and relocation of residents in high risk areas prone to flooding, landslide, and mudslide, and said that disaster relief materials and temporary shelters must be in place well in advance.

It also asked civil affairs authorities to increase publicity of disaster-related information and survival tips.