Friday, June 17, 2011

Fatal floods hit China forcing over 500,000 to flee

Another round of torrential rains has flooded a once drought-stricken region of southern China, killing 25 people and leaving 25 missing, authorities said Friday.

The flood has forced the evacuation of about 671,200 people and has affected 10 provinces and muncipalities in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs

In Zhejiang province, where the water level has exceeded the historic record set in 1955, officials have raised the disaster alert to the highest level. More than 2,000 soldiers mobilized for the emergency response in the area.

The Ministry of Finance has distributed about 130 million RMB ($20 million) for relief efforts in Hubei and Hunan.

This is the third round of heavy rains in the region this month, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The last round hit the area on June 9, triggering floods and mudslides that left 77 dead and 33 people missing, authorities said.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs estimated losses stemming from the latest flood at 12.85 RMB (nearly $2 billion), more than the previous two floods combined. (Source)