Downpour wreaks havoc across China

July 24th, 2012 - 2:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Shaan Beijing, July 24 (IANS) Rainstorms since the weekend have ravaged many parts of China, including the capital city of Beijing where the heaviest rain in 60 years caused 37 deaths.

Torrential rain has swept through 17 provincial areas since July 20, leaving 95 dead and 45 missing, the civil affairs ministry said.

The havoc caused by the downpours had affected about 6.23 million people in 264 counties and forced the evacuation of about 567,000 residents, reported Xinhua citing the ministry.

Rainstorms also destroyed 29,000 houses and damaged 55,000 more.

In Hebei province, 17 people have been confirmed dead and 21 remain missing in rain-triggered disasters as of Monday afternoon, the provincial civil affairs bureau said.

The bureau said the rain brought floods and hail to 56 counties, leading to the relocation of 155,500 people so far.

Downpours also disrupted train services in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region as railway lines were flooded Monday afternoon.

Ten passenger trains were stranded on the Lanzhou-Xinjiang Railway and the Southern Xinjiang Railway.

In Sichuan province, water levels in several rivers have exceeded the danger marks and the Luzhou section in the upper reach of the Yangtze River has witnessed the biggest flooding since 1949, according to the provincial flood control headquarters.

In addition, cities of Yibin and Luzhou have been flooded by two-metre-deep water. About 150,000 people have to be relocated, said the headquarters.

In southwest China’s Chongqing municipality, nearly 300,000 people from nine districts and counties had been affected by rainstorms as of Saturday. More than 8,000 of them have been relocated to safe places.

In southwest China’s Yunnan province, six people have been killed and two remain missing following a heavy rainstorm that hit the city of Zhaotong Saturday night.

Continuous rains have battered the northwest China’s Shaanxi province since Friday, which killed one person and left 16 missing in the city of Yulin.

The round of rainstorms has affected 88,600 people in five cities in Shaanxi to date.

The heaviest rain in six decades lashed the Chinese capital Saturday, with the average precipitation reaching 170 mm while a township in the suburban district of Fangshan recording 460 mm of rain.

The downpours submerged power supply facilities and led to blackouts in parts of Beijing.

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