Authorities fear a fresh wave of 'blind drifters' following the summer floods along the Yangtze River and in the northeast. Experts from the new Ministry of Labour and Social Security believe such drifters - workers who flock from city to city in the hope of finding work - will have a bad effect on the labour market. The ministry doubts the Government will impose an outright ban on labour migration but will, instead, take steps to regulate the regional outflows. According to official figures, the floods inflicted losses of 166 billion yuan (HK$154.38 billion), affected more than 220 million people, and left 13.8 million homeless and more than 21 million hectares of farmland under water. Local authorities, who in most areas cannot afford to compensate victims, are encouraging workers to seek employment elsewhere. In Hunan and Jiangxi provinces, two traditional sources of 'blind drifters', workers in some areas are given 40 yuan to help with the travel costs of finding work elsewhere. In Heilongjiang province, 50,000 workers in Qiqihar have been issued with 'refugee passes', with which they receive additional benefits. More than 30 people were missing after their ferry collided with a cargo vessel as they travelled to collect relief goods. At least 10 people were rescued following the accident on the Yangtze River near Jiayu, Hubei province.