Dozens killed as torrential rains lash the south

More heavy downpours likely in Guangdong in the coming days, meteorologists warn

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 June, 2014, 4:06am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 June, 2014, 7:24pm

At least 26 people were killed and three others are missing after southern provinces were hit by heavy rains and landslides, state media reported yesterday.

Weather authorities also warned that torrential rains were likely to continue in the south and that rivers in Guangdong province may hit flood danger levels in the coming week, the China News Service said.

Heavy rains have destroyed nearly 10,000 homes and caused an estimated 4 billion yuan (HK$5 billion) of damage, the report added.

Among the fatalities, 11 occurred in Hunan , five in Jiangxi and four in Fujian . Guizhou , Guangxi and Chongqing each reported two deaths, Xinhua reported, citing the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

By noon yesterday, the government had relocated 337,000 people.

The government has earmarked more than 340 million yuan for emergency relief across the region, including in Zhejiang , Anhui and Sichuan provinces.

In Chongqing , weeks of torrential rain have caused flooding and many villages have been seriously damaged.

Over 5,000 villagers in Dazu county were trapped by floodwaters yesterday, with local media suggesting that poor communication links and damage to roads made it harder for rescue personnel to reach the hardest-hit areas.

In neighbouring Hunan province, falling trees and debris killed 11 and injured more than 100 others.

Hundreds of thousands were also left without electricity after storms hit the area on Friday, the China News Service said.

Heavy downpours caused rivers to overflow their banks and a dam to burst, submerging areas in the north and west of Guizhou province, killing at least four people, the report said.

In Wuhan in Hubei province, fire service rescuers used boats and earth-moving equipment to evacuate flood victims from their homes and to clear debris including damaged cars on the streets.

Local media said that many cars parked on the road were washed away and some apartment buildings in the city were damaged.

Three restaurant workers died in Yibin in Sichuan province after a mudslide covered the building where they worked, the China News Service reported.

The meteorological office in Guangdong has warned that heavy rain was expected to strike many parts of the province in the coming week.

The agency said there was a high probability that the downpours would trigger more floods and landslides.

Flights, road and rail services were all affected by the bad weather in recent days.