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47 killed in fresh floods in China

world Updated: Aug 01, 2010 10:16 IST

PTI
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At least 47 people have been killed in heavy floods that hit northeast China's Jilin Province during the past few days even as the death toll in the collapse of a bridge in Henan province rose to 49.

47 people have been killed and 45 others remain missing in floods that have hit northeast China's Jilin Province since July 24, Jilin's civil affairs department has said.

In addition, more than 375,000 people have been evacuated and 25,800 buildings collapsed due to the floods, with economic loss on account of flooding reaching nearly four billion yuan (USD 590 million), it said.

Meanwhile, the death toll from a bridge collapse in central China's Henan Province a week ago has risen to 49 with 17 still missing, official news agency Xinhua reported.

The Yihe River bridge collapsed on July 24 in Luanchuan County, Luoyang City, plunging the people on it into the rushing waters.

The chances of survival for the missing were slim, but rescue operations were still under way.

The local ruling Communist Party officials have published an apology for the incident in the local daily, saying "we are deeply sorry for the heavy loss of life and we take responsibility".

The bridge built in 1987 was crowded with villagers and tourists from a nearby nursing home who had come to watch flood torrents when it collapsed, according to survivors.

The bridge was over 200 metres long and more than 10 metres high. It was the only bridge on a about 4-km section of the river.

An initial government probe showed it collapsed after fallen tree trunks stuck under it, blocking the passage of the raging flood waters.

The floods on July 24 also left 15 dead and 8 missing in other 13 townships in Luanchuan, it said.

Floods nationwide had killed 991 people and left 558 more missing according to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Meanwhile, Chinese military personnel who launched a massive hunt to recover 7000 barrels of explosive chemicals washed away in flood water managed to recover over 5000 so far.

Special barricades have been erected at a point before to collect the rest before they flow down the river into neighbouring Russia.

The worst flooding in a decade in China has left 991 dead and 558 missing since the beginning of the year.

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