12 more soldiers' bodies discovered

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 October, 2005, 12:00am

Toll from landslide hits 62 as flood menace spreads throughout China

Rescue workers yesterday found the bodies of another 12 soldiers who died in a landslide triggered by Typhoon Longwang in Fujian province , as other parts of the country battled extreme weather.

Yesterday's discoveries brought the total number of soldiers killed when floods hit a military training school to 62, with 24 still missing. More than 7,000 soldiers, police and residents took part in the search in the coastal province, where 77 people died during the typhoon.

Elsewhere in the country, heavy rain and resulting floods in the Wei and Han rivers have claimed 16 lives in Shaanxi province , with 4.6 million people affected. Four people are still missing.

Nearly 80,000 hectares of crops have been destroyed and 39,200 houses collapsed, amounting to total economic losses of 1.9 billion yuan.

Xinhua reported last night that the level of the two rivers in Shaanxi province started to drop gradually yesterday, although the threat of landslides remained.

Hubei province is preparing for the Han River to flood today and tomorrow, with provincial anti-flood authorities describing the situation as critical.

Meanwhile, Guangdong weather experts predict the west Pearl River Delta will be hit by more saline tides this year.

Recent water flows and levels are below those of last year when the central government ordered the discharge of water from reservoirs in Guizhou and Guangxi to flush out saltwater tides.

The salt tide occurs when sea water floods coastal areas because of serious drought. More than 1,000 experts had been monitoring water levels in rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and sounded the alarm over the National Day holidays, state media reports said.

Zhongshan experienced its first saltwater tide this year on September 23, nine days earlier than last year, and experts fear that if there is no heavy rainfall upstream, the situation will be critical again in Zhongshan and Zhuhai this year.