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

Posted June 7th, 2011 at 12:55 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese state media say 14 people are dead and tens of thousands have been displaced by flooding in southwestern China.

The official Xinhua news agency 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 agency said heavy rains have washed away more than 500 vehicles, toppled 100 homes, destroyed road and bridges and damaged more than 5,000 hectares of cropland.

The rains, which began late last week, have brought some relief to residents and farmers on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, who have been suffering the region's most severe drought in decades.

Authorities said the summer rainy season has arrived just in time to help farmers who are engaged in planting rice, but serious economic losses still are expected.