Monday, July 23, 2007

Death and disruption from floods in China

Terra Daily, via Agence France-Presse: Another 74 people have died in floods across China bringing the death toll for the week to at least 156 in one of the deadliest rainy seasons in years, state media reported Sunday. The latest reported deaths from heavy rains that have spread misery across much of the country included dozens killed in recent days in the mountainous southwestern province of Yunnan, the Xinhua news agency said.

Torrential downpours in the region triggered mudslides, landslides and heavy flooding that also destroyed more than 4,000 homes and ravaged crops, it said. The Yunnan death toll rose to 65 with reports Sunday of six more deaths.

…Mud and rockslides also closed the 176-kilometre (109-mile) Tengchong-Myitkyina highway linking China and Burma. In far-western Xinjiang province, nine people have been confirmed killed by floods, with two more missing, Xinhua said.

Weeks of torrential rains in several provinces have made this year's summer rainy season one of the deadliest in years….

Dykes along the river have soaked for three weeks in the highest water levels since 1991, putting them at increased risk of breaching with more rain expected, Xinhua quoted officials as saying….

China's death toll from natural disasters this year topped 700 by mid-July, with about half the fatalities coming this month, and at least 129 missing, Xinhua said on Friday. Millions have been evacuated or seen their homes flooded or destroyed.

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