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November 17, 2015

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Thousands relocated as rare floods hit Hunan

RARE winter floods have ravaged central China’s Hunan Province since last week, affecting a total of 253,000 people, authorities said yesterday.

Continuous rainstorms have formed flood crests in the upper and middle reaches of the Xiangjiang River, a tributary of the Yangtze, China’s longest river, leading to the most severe winter flooding in the region since 1961, according to Hunan Provincial Commission for Disaster Reduction.

As of yesterday, 173 houses had collapsed, 262 houses were seriously damaged and about 10,900 residents had been relocated in 15 counties and districts in Hunan. The floods also damaged 19,200 hectares of farmland in the province, resulting in direct economic losses of 401 million yuan (US$63 million).

The government of worst-hit Yongzhou has allocated relief funds of 660,000 yuan and sent supplies to affected people.

Torrential rain has also battered parts of neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region over the past several days. The city of Hezhou, located in the east of the region, has seen the worst winter rainstorms in decades.

The water levels of six rivers in Hezhou have surpassed warning levels, the city’s flood control and drought relief headquarters said.

Rare winter storms have caused economic losses of 71.6 million yuan in the southern city. As of yesterday morning, a total of 83,450 people from 33 townships in the city had been affected.


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