China Flood Death Toll Rises to 24

Posted June 12th, 2011 at 6:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Chinese officials say the death toll from heavy rains in central and southern provinces has risen to at least 94 and that 78 people are missing.

The state flood control and drought relief agency said Sunday that torrential rains in the past week have triggered floods and landslides in 13 provinces, affecting more than 8 million residents. The agency said the inclement weather also destroyed close to 500,000 hectares of crops.

The Xinhua news agency reports that the meteorological administration issued a level-three emergency alert Sunday for areas in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. It quotes officials as saying these areas will be swamped by torrential rains Monday, raising the risk of flash floods and landslides in areas that were recently hit by droughts. Under the alert, local authorities will monitor weather changes 24 hours a day and give warnings in case of possible natural disasters.

South China's Guangdong province was hit by its first tropical storm of the summer. Xinhua reports that the storm named Sarika made landfall with wind speeds of more than 70 kilometers per hour and was moving north.

Moderate rains and thunderstorms continued Sunday in most parts of China.