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175 killed as heavy rains pound southern China

Source: PTI
June 21, 2010 19:45 IST
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Torrential rains and widespread flooding, one of the worst in five decades, continued to wreck havoc in south China claiming at least 175 lives and 107 missing, affecting more than 25 million people.

The flood also disrupted inter-provincial train services, affected 1.36 million hectares of farmland and trapped thousands of residents in counties where power supply and transportation were cut off.

The floods, the most severe for 50 years in some regions, have affected 25.15 million people. They have caused the collapse of 144,000 houses and the evacuation of 1.71 million people.

Economic losses have reached $4.37 billion, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The National Meteorological Centre forecast more thunderstorms in the areas.

Hunan and Jiangxi provinces were among the worst hit areas.

In Hunan, eight people were killed and 11 went missing, according to the provincial flood control office.

Seven people were killed among the 1.97 million residents affected in Jiangxi and its four counties were inundated with floods more than one-metre deep, local flood control and drought relief authorities said.

The areas also suffered electricity shortage as well as communication breakdowns. About 3,300 people were still trapped in the floods in Jiangxi's Yingtan city, the local government said.

Floods and torrential rain also paralysed roads and railways to and from Yingtan, with trains bound south cancelled or delayed.

Premier Wen Jiabao visited flood-affected Wuzhou of Guangxi over the weekend and called for better forecasts, alarm systems and emergency response plans to deal with the inclement weather.
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