50 dead in China rains (Second Lead)

July 23rd, 2012 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 23 (IANS) At least 50 people have died in China in rain-triggered floods and accidents, authorities said Monday.

In Beijing, the toll from Saturday’s rainstorms climbed to 37 as more bodies were retrieved, Xinhua reported.

Among the victims, 25 drowned, six were killed in house collapses, one died due to lightning and five were electrocuted.

The rains, the heaviest in six decades, lashed Beijing and northern province of Hebei over the weekend. In Hebei, 15 people died and 19 others were missing.

Rains brought floods and hail to the province, leading to the evacuation of nearly 160,000 people, officials said.

About 11,000 tourists and 2,700 residents in Laiyuan, Laishui and Yixian counties remained stranded as roads leading to the tourist sites were blocked due to water.

The railway authorities in Baoding city Monday arranged for three trains to help 6,000 stranded tourists leave Yesanbo, a popular resort.

Saturday’s rains in Beijing were put at 170 mm while a township in the suburban district of Fangshan recorded 460 mm of rains.

The downpours submerged power supply facilities, leading to blackouts.

The government has allocated 120 million yuan ($19 million) to help Beijing and Tianjin and the neighbouring Hebei province fight the floods.

The fund will be spent on repairs of flood-damaged water conservancy facilities in the region.

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