Over 50 dead, hundreds of thousands evacuated as floods ravage southern China
Eleven provinces badly affected, with economic losses reaching over US$3.7b, and more rain is on the way
More than 50 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands evacuated as floods swept through parts of central and southern China after days of heavy rain.
Over 11 million people have been affected and total economic losses have exceeded 25 billion yuan (US$3.7 billion or HK$29 billion) in 11 provinces, including Hunan and Sichuan and Guangxi, according to state-run Xinhua.
The death toll stands at 56 with more than 22 people missing as of Tuesday morning in those provinces, according to the report.
More rain is expected from Wednesday until Sunday in seven provinces, including Hunan and Sichuan, which have already been badly hit, according to the water resources ministry.
The central government has given more than 1.88 billion yuan to 20 provinces, including Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan and Guizhou on Monday, to help them evacuate residents, recover houses and provide help to those who have lost their homes. Thousands of tents, quilts and camp beds have also been sent to the area, according to the civil affairs department.
The central Hunan province was among the worst hit, with the water level of the Xiangjiang river, a tributary of the Yangtze River that flows through the capital Changsha, exceeding previous records set in a massive flood in 1998.
Pictures and videos on social media showed flooded streets, shops closed and cars submerged in Changsha. Some parts of Orange Isle, one of the city’s most well-known scenic spots, were under water with only the tops of trees visible.
Flooding also affected cities in Guangxi. In the tourist city of Guilin, restaurants and shops were submerged. leaving only their upper floors and signs visible, and tourists and residents alike using rafts to get around.