Flooding kills 673 in 2013

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 January, 2013, 7:34pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 January, 2013, 9:08pm

Chinese authorities say 673 people have died in floods this year and another 159 people went missing from the disasters.

Water Resources Minister Chen Lei said on Saturday that the year was marked with above-average rain and snow in parts of China and a rainstorm in Beijing that killed 79 people in July.

In his speech posted on the ministry’s website, Chen says mudslides killed about three-fourths of the year’s death toll. He says floods affected 184 Chinese cities and 120 million people this year.

China’s floods killed 519 people last year, but the death toll soared to 3,222 in 2010 because of major floods, including a severe mudslide that killed at least 1,471.

Deforestation has caused soil erosion and made parts of China prone to mudslides after strong rains.