Flood controls ordered after 56 people die

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 June, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 June, 2003, 12:00am

At least 56 people have been killed and millions affected by flooding in areas along the Yangtze river, and officials have issued an emergency order to local governments urging them to implement flood controls.

A storm that hit 22 counties in Sichuan last week left at least 20 people dead and affected more than 910,000 residents, state media reported.

In Hubei province, landslides left 13 people died and seven missing. And in Chongqing, near the Three Gorges Dam, the water level has surpassed the emergency line and at least seven people have been killed by floods.

While no deaths have been reported yet in Hunan province, nearly one million people have been seriously affected by flooding, and at least 11,000 have had to evacuate their homes.

In the northern part of Jiangxi province, also along the Yangtze river, roads in the provincial capital, Nanchang, and neighbouring counties have been affected. Rail lines have been closed throughout the region.

Water levels in several reservoirs and rivers in the region are said to be approaching danger levels. Some southwestern provinces have also been badly hit by floods, including Guangxi where torrents have left 15 dead and at least 17 missing.

And in eastern Zhejiang, a passenger truck carrying 26 people plunged into a river during a storm, killing at least one person and leaving several missing.

Local governments along the Yangtze have issued emergency notices in several counties, ordering officials to be vigilant and warning that anyone who was found to have neglected their duties would face tough punishment.

Experts have forecast that the region will experience massive flooding again this year.