Scores feared dead in China flooding

Scores feared dead in China flooding

As many as 199 people are now feared to have died in flooding which has swept southern China over the past ten days.

A statement from the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs added a further 123 victims were reported as missing across the ten provinces which have been hit.

Some 29 million residents in the Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan and Guizhou provinces have been hit by the flooding, with as many as three million displaced from their homes.

Officials added over 1.6 million hectares of farmland have been flooded, while 195,000 houses have collapsed and 568,000 others have been damaged.

Total economic losses are estimated at 42.12 billion yuan to date.

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Changkai Dyke

In the most recent developments, a further 12,000 inhabitants – largely those in Fuzhou city - have been evacuated from areas around the Changkai Dyke in Jiangxi.

Chinese President Hu Jintao had ordered the evacuation of some 64,000 residents earlier this week following the collapse of the dyke, with those down stream now in danger.

The Chinese National Meteorological Centre has also warned parts of south-eastern and south-western China would see persistent heavy rains over the next 24 hours posing further risks.

“In parts of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Henan, Guangxi and other areas of the south, the rainfall will be 100-180 millimetres,” added a statement.

“In other parts, the rainfall will be more than 200 millimetres.”

The Chinese rainy season starts in May, with flooding following a recent drought across much of the south-west of the country.