Floods worsen in China, 13 killed, million stranded | india | Hindustan Times
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Floods worsen in China, 13 killed, million stranded

Thirteen people have died, thousands of villages are besieged and more than a million residents are stranded in the worst floods since 1991 in China's Huai River valley, officials said on Tuesday.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2003 09:58 IST

Thirteen people have died, thousands of villages are besieged and more than a million residents are stranded in the worst floods since 1991 in China's Huai River valley, officials said on Tuesday.

The death toll rose overnight from five to 13, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Ministry of Civil Affairs statistics show the three provinces in the valley -- Anhui, Jiangsu and Henan -- have suffered total economic losses of nearly 7.2 billion yuan (871 million US dollars).

Most of the destruction has been in central China's Anhui province, where eight people have been killed and 18 million affected, with 12 million severely affected, said Wang Xintao, an official from the provincial civil affairs department.

"It's the worst flooding since 1991 in terms of the volume of rainfall and water level," Wang told AFP.

Xinhua said more than 5,700 villages in Anhui are besieged by floodwaters.

Wang said 378,900 people living in the flood valley have been relocated to higher ground, but even highlands were surrounded by water, leaving a 1.14 million residents there stranded.

They were not under immediate danger, but many of them were living in some 6,000 tents distributed by disaster relief officials.

"The military will send a boat out to deliver necessary foods and daily necessities to them," Wang said.

Severe damage was also inflicted on farmland, with 26,680 hectares of crops lost, and 1.1 million hectares of farmland ruined, the official said.

Agricultural damage alone is estimated to be 3.4 billion yuan and total economic loss has reached 4.2 billion yuan, Wang said.

Flood waters also brought death and destruction to the central province of Henan, further upstream along the Huai River, one of China's major rivers which is highly flood prone each summer.

So far, two people have died in Henan, with five million affected, according to an official with Henan's department of civil affairs.

The official said 110,000 people have been relocated.

Direct economic loss to the province is one billion yuan, and 60,000 hectares of farmland have lost their harvest, with a total of 400,000 hectares affected.

No casualties have been reported in Jiangsu province.