Floods kill eight, affect half a million

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 June, 2012, 12:00am


Heavy rain and flooding has hit many parts of Guangdong, claiming eight lives and causing direct economic losses estimated at more than 700 million yuan (HK$860 million) since Thursday.

Thirty-four counties and cities have been battered by rainstorms and more than half a million people affected, the province's Emergency Management Office said.

It said yesterday that rain was forecast to ease in coming days.

Four girls aged between six and 13 died when heavy rain caused the side of a mountain to give way in Qingyuan at about noon on Sunday.

Three other people are missing in Qingyuan, more than 30,000 people have been shifted to higher ground and more than 3,000 houses have collapsed due to flooding.

Torrential rain on Sunday and Monday caused water levels in the Xi and Bei rivers, two of the four main rivers in the Pearl River Delta, to rise significantly. The peak of the main stream of the Bei River was still more than five metres higher than the flood warning level yesterday, the provincial Hydrology Bureau said. Subsidence had affected tributaries.

Fifty rivers have topped flood warning levels south of the Yangtze River since last week. Although most have since fallen below warning levels, five rivers in Jiangxi , Guangdong, Hunan and Yunnan remain dangerously high, the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Command says.

Twenty-two provinces and regions have been lashed by heavy rain this year, with 148 lives lost and 42 people missing, it said.

Flooding and heavy rain has also affected 18 million people across the mainland and caused 30 billion yuan of economic losses - with 5.6 billion yuan being damage to water conservancy facilities. Flooding has also caused 68,000 houses to collapse and ruined 1.6 million hectares of crops.

The state office warned that southern China still faced a severe flood-control situation.