Sunday, June 19, 2011

More than five million hit by devastating floods in eastern China after torrential rain - 19th June 2011

Devastating floods in eastern China have hit more than five million people in eastern China.

The flooding triggered a mudslide that buried houses and killed two people in Zhejiang Province's Changshan county, while two more were killed and two left missing in Hubei Province.

Torrential rains have left one million acres of farmland in the provinces under water, said the official Xinhua News Agency.

So far 7,000 homes have been destroyed, more than a million people evacuated,1,000 business operations suspended and 5.7 million Chinese have had their lives disrupted.

Local authorities are distributing aid, handing out a box of instant noodles and a carton of bottled water. But villagers have reported that survival is difficult, especially for those still trapped by the flood waters.

The rains follow the worst drought in China in over 50 years, which has decimated crop yields. The estimated cost of the damage is five billion yuan (£477 million).

Earlier this month flooding in eastern and southern China left more than 170 people dead or missing.

Farmers said the flooding was the worst in 20 years, reducing vegetable output by 20 per cent and also causing shortages of fruits and grains. Prices for green vegetables were up 40 per cent.

China has mobilised troops to help with its flood relief operation and raised its disaster alert to four - the highest level on the scale. Read More