Heavy rain leaves 52 people dead

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 June, 2011, 12:00am


Torrential rains in southern and eastern China since the weekend have left at least 52 people dead and 32 missing, forcing over 100,000 to evacuate, state media reported yesterday.

Most of the deaths have occurred in the poor southern province of Guizhou, where 14 counties and cities are reeling from floods that have affected more than 400,000 people.

At least three deaths occurred in Yushan county, Jiangxi, where a family of five was buried in debris after their house collapsed in a storm on Tuesday. The other two family members were still missing.

Forecasts for more strong rainfall in the coming days have raised concerns over the quick transition from a serious drought to severe flooding.

A huge swathe of the storm-hit region had been plagued by drought for months.

'It's been dry for such a long time and the rain was slight in the beginning. Who would expect flooding so soon?' Wang Dingcheng, a resident of Guizhou's Wangmo county, told Xinhua.

Guizhou, one of the worst-hit provinces in the recent round of deluge, is expected to see more strong rainfall until Sunday, local meteorologists said. Jiangxi will also see a fresh round of torrential rain, and three more periods of rainfall are forecast over the next month.

Water levels in several branches of the Gan River, a major river flowing through Jiangxi province, have already risen above warning levels, China National Radio reported, citing local water resource officials.

Rain is also forecast for today and in the next four days for most parts of Hunan province , which has seen flooding and landslides since the weekend. Landslides occurred on Tuesday at four places along the Mayang county portion of National Highway 209, leading to closures. Traffic won't be able to resume until tomorrow, Xinhua reported.

Two other national highways and three provincial highways have been blocked due to landslides triggered by rainstorms.