Storms and floods wreak havoc in north and south

Three provinces see mass evacuations while other end of country hit by rain, landslides

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 August, 2013, 4:50pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 August, 2013, 4:05am

Storms, floods and landslides have caused mass evacuations and billions of yuan in losses at opposite ends of the country.

The worst floods in decades forced the relocation of tens of thousands of residents in three northeastern provinces, while Typhoon Utor brought torrential rain and landslides to southern regions.

At least 25 people have died in floods in the northeastern provinces of Jilin, Heilongjiang and Liaoning , and 10 deaths were reported in Guangdong and Guangxi, according to state media.

In the northeast, floods have affected more than 2.5 million hectares of farmland and affected 3.6 million residents, including 24,000 who were evacuated.

An estimated 13,000 houses were severely damaged, Xinhua reported.

The bodies of three people who were swept away after a severe flood inundated a residential compound in Huadian city, Jilin, were found yesterday. Another 11 bodies were found in the same area on Friday, it said.

In neighbouring Heilongjiang, flooding claimed 11 lives on Friday, and three others have been missing since August 10. Three major rivers have risen to dangerous levels and damaged low-lying crops.

The floods have destroyed more than 2,500 houses and inflicted more than 7 billion yuan (HK$8.8 billion) in economic losses, the China News Service said. In Liaoning, more than 140 reservoirs were forced to discharge water. Railways and highways were cut off and bridges were damaged by the floods in Fushun, affecting more than 300,000 residents.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Utor caused floods and landslides as it swept across southern Guangdong and Guangxi on Wednesday and Thursday.

Among the six deaths reported in Guangxi, three elderly people died in a landslide in Wuzhou after the typhoon passed over the city.

Thousands of passengers were stranded at Guangzhou's main long-distance railway station when floods cut sections of routes to affected areas.

Services were suspended for about an hour yesterday after heavy overnight rain. Trains between Guangzhou and Shenzhen were suspended or had to reduce speed. Normal service resumed at about 10am.