China Floods Kill 14, Displace 45,000 as Drought Eases

Posted June 7th, 2011 at 7:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Heavy rains have eased a drought that has gripped parts of central and southern China, but killed at least 14 people and displaced tens of thousands in a southwestern region.

Chinese state media said Tuesday that 35 other people are missing and 3,000 are stranded in a single county in Guizhou province. It said 45,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes in Wangmo county.

The downpours, which began late last week, have washed away more than 500 vehicles, toppled 100 homes, destroyed roads and bridges and damaged more than 5,000 hectares of cropland.

The Ministry of Finance announced Tuesday that it had added more than $180 million toward the disaster relief for five regions along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

A statement by the ministry says the emergency allocation is primarily meant to aid drought-stricken provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei and Hunan.

The fertile lands of the Yangtze River Valley have been parched by the worst drought in 50 years.

China's meteorologists say that heavy rain is likely to continue Wednesday, with downpours in Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces.