Rain, floods take their toll in C China

Updated: 2011-06-10 15:45


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BEIJING - A new round of rain and floods battered China Thursday night and Friday, killing 35 people in Central China's Hubei and Hunan provinces.

Torrential rains triggered floods and landslides that toppled homes and destroyed river embankments in Hubei's city of Xianning, killing 20 people and leaving five others missing, a spokesman with the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said.

Rain, floods take their toll in C China
A mountainside collapses after being battered by ongoing torrential rains in Zhanqiao township, Linxiang city, Central China's Hunan province, June 10, 2011. The landslides, which occurred during the early hours of Friday, have claimed 15 lives and left 25 missing. [Photo/Xinhua]

Meanwhile, nearly 100,000 people were stranded by floods in three of Xianning's counties, including Tongcheng, Chibi and Chongyang, the spokesman said.

Among the stranded were 209 children in Chongyang county, where a primary school was surrounded by water on all sides, he said.

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Chongyang's county chief Chen Wubin said rescuers were approaching the school by midday Friday.

He said the students have all taken refuge on the second floor of the school and are in no imminent danger.

Xianning was battered by rain and floods from 8 pm Thursday to 5 am Friday.

In Tongcheng county, precipitation topped 300 mm within four hours, a record volume.

The entire county was virtually submerged by Friday morning, with more than 60,000 residents left stranded. Fifty-thousand of them were evacuated by 8 am Friday.

Flood waters measured more than 2 meters deep in Tongcheng's low-lying areas. Traffic in the county seat was paralyzed, as flood waters in the area measured between 60 to 90 cm deep.

Electricity and telephone services in Tongcheng have been cut off by the floods. More than 300 people living downstream from one of the county's reservoirs had to evacuate after the reservoir was overwhelmed by the floods.

In Chibi, 110,000 people were evacuated to safety after floods there toppled homes and destroyed river embankments.

In neighboring Hunan province, 15 people have died and another 25 are still missing after rain-triggered landslides occurred during the early hours of Friday in the county-level cities of Linxiang and Yueyang.

Torrential rains hit Yueyang Thursday night, causing landslides in the village of Guanshan. The landslides killed five villagers and left 19 others missing, the city's flood control and drought relief headquarters said in a press release.

Neighboring Pingjiang county also reported five deaths resulting from the floods, the press release said.

Rain-triggered floods also wreaked havoc in eastern China's Jiangxi province. In the province's Xiushui county, about 1,200 people were trapped and 26,000 were evacuated after their homes were hit by torrential rains from 1 am to 6 am Friday.

The county's precipitation hit 228 mm over the five-hour period, cutting off traffic in 18 townships and disrupting power supplies in five others.

"Hundreds of police officers are working to evacuate villagers in low-lying areas, and more than 3,000 county government officials have joined in the rescue effort," said Zhang Xiaolin, an official from the county's flood control and drought relief office.

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