17 dead in China floods

July 23rd, 2011 - 5:13 am ICT by IANS  

Shaan Beijing, July 23 (IANS) Floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains in China’s 11 provinces have left at least 17 people dead, including four children, officials said.

The ministry of civil affairs said that since July 14, persistent rains in Beijing, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia and Xinjiang, have affected around 3.94 million people, Xinhua reported.

The disasters have also caused economic losses of 4.63 billion yuan (around $713 million), the ministry said.

At least five people, including four children, were flushed away by floods Friday after continuous rain in Guizhou province, a witness said.

Luo Yuankun, a local patrolman, saw the four children being carried away by the flooded Xiangjiang river in Zunyi city.

“The flood roared down and the children were gone in a flash,” he said.

Rescue workers said some local people, who were fishing near the riverside were also swept away. However, they could not confirm exactly how many people were missing.

About 300 rescuers have been sent to search for the missing people, said Zhang Qian, the vice-mayor of the city.

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