Rains leave 22 dead in China
A Govt statement said the rains destroyed about 23,000 homes and caused damage worth 524 mn yuan.india Updated: Jun 03, 2006 13:22 IST
Heavy rains have drenched a southern Chinese province, leaving 22 people dead and forcing the evacuation of 50,000 people, state media reported on Saturday.
Disaster crews bearing tents, quilts and rice were dispatched to flood-hit areas in central and northern Fujian province, where the torrential rains began falling on Tuesday, the reports said.
Some areas received more than 20 cms of rain, the China Youth Daily reported, and the Xinhua News Agency said more rain is expected this week.
So far, the provincial government said in a statement, the rains have destroyed about 23,000 homes and caused 524 million yuan (US$65.4 million; euro51 million) worth of damage.
The reports did not say how the 22 had died.
Heavy rains afflict southern China every year around this time. The China Daily, citing the head of the state flood control agency, said all told 59 people have died in floods this year and 11 are still unaccounted for -- a lower than average toll.
In addition, the newspaper said, the rains have caused 13 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion; euro1.3 billion) in economic losses, about the average for this time of year.
In the southern province of Guangdong, the streets of Chayang town were covered in water 4 meters (yards) deep, after rains forced two hydropower stations to discharge waters from reservoirs, China Daily said.
The secretary-general of the state flood control agency, E Jinping, called on officials nationwide to ensure the safety of country's reservoirs, Xinhua reported.
Flooding weakens dikes, and E cited one of China's worst catastrophes -- the collapse of dikes holding two reservoirs in 1975 that killed 26,000 people in Henan province.