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Rainstorms cause 13 deaths, massive damage in China

RAINSTORMS continued to wreak havoc yesterday in some parts of China, leaving at least 13 people dead, toppling houses and flooding roads.

Five people were dead and two others remained missing in Fujian Province since the inclement weather started on Wednesday.

As of 5pm yesterday, torrential rain had forced 22,000 people to evacuate, Fujian's flood control and drought relief headquarters said.

Flooding damaged 12,690 hectares of crops and 25 kilometers of embankment. Also, 420 houses collapsed and 64 businesses were forced to close.

The storms caused an economic loss of 242 million yuan (US$35.4 million).

Downpours have affected more than 30 counties across the province, with rainfall of up to 100 millimeters in some areas, causing the provincial meteorological bureau to issue its third-highest rain alert.

Authorities sent text messages to more than 1 million residents, urging them to take precautions against heavy rainstorms.

Meanwhile, heavy rain pelted 28 counties in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, forcing 144,100 people to leave their homes while also damaging 38,190 hectares of crops and 21,033 houses.

Half of Rongshui County seat suffered flooding and power cuts after the Rongjiang River overflowed its banks.

In Luocheng County, the Kama Reservoir flooded, and the water flow from the spillways destroyed a 13.5-meter section of a dyke near the base of the reservoir's dam.

The local government organized the evacuation of 7,509 people living downstream from the reservoir on Friday in fear the dam might collapse.

Sixteen temporary shelters were provided for 6,231 of the evacuees, and the other 1,278 went to stay with relatives.

In Jiangxi Province, 10,000 houses collapsed, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless. Rainstorms also caused landslides and cut power supplies.

Torrential rain was also blamed for eight deaths and the relocation of 140,000 people in Hunan Province.

Parts of Hunan received more than 200 millimeters of rain, causing the water in many rivers to rise to alarm levels.


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