170 Dead Or Missing In China Floods

BEIJING (AFP) – Flooding caused by torrential downpours in central and southern China has killed 94 people and left 78 others missing, the government said Sunday, warning of further heavy downpours ahead.

Flooding on the southern reaches of the Yangtze river and in southwest China’s Guangxi region in recent days has affected 13 provinces or regions and destroyed 465,000 hectares (1.5 million acres) of cropland, it said.

The figures were announced by the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Provinces such as Hubei, Anhui and Hunan along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze river — China’s longest — had recently been suffering a severe drought.

China is hit by heavy summer rainfalls every year. In 2010, torrential downpours across large swathes of the country triggered the nation’s worst floods in a decade, leaving more than 4,300 people dead or missing.

One devastating mudslide in the northwestern province of Gansu killed 1,500 people in August.

The flood control and drought relief headquarters said last week the recent downpours had helped ease the Yangtze drought but that many areas were still bone-dry and suffering from acute shortages of water for crops and drinking.

The China Meteorological Administration said Sunday further heavy rainstorms were expected along the Yangtze over the next few days.

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