Beijing: As many as 116 people were either killed or missing in fresh bout of rainstorms in China which has caused havoc, flattening homes, disrupting power and traffic besides triggering evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people, according to official figures released today. Forty-two people were killed and 74 remained missing in torrential rains in central and north areas since yesterday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The casualties of rains continued to mount as already over 300 people were killed and over 100 listed missing in rains, floods and typhoon in China since last month.
Heavy rain in north China’s Hebei Province since yesterday morning has left 30 people dead and 68 missing, the provincial civil affairs department said today. About 163,900 people have been forced to leave their homes.
The department has received reports of floods and landslides damaging more than 47,713 houses and 354,600 hectares of crops, causing traffic chaos, power outages and wreaking havoc with communications. So far, direct economic losses from the rain-triggered disaster reached 4.75 billion yuan (USD 711 million).
Relief supplies including tents, quilts and clothing have been distributed in the worst-hit cities including Handan, Xingtai and the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang. In neighbouring Henan Province, 12 people were confirmed dead with six unaccounted for, the provincial flood control headquarters said.
Storms forced the evacuation of 105,000 people, levelled 2,110 homes and damaged 20,720 hectares of crops. The extreme weather caused two dikes to collapse in the city of Anyang yesterday. Soldiers and rescue workers are attempting to close the breach. The direct economic losses in Henan are estimated at 477 million yuan.
The National Commission for Disaster Relief and the Ministry of Civil Affairs have sent staff to assist the relief work. Citing people’s safety as the top priority, President Xi Jinping while inspecting northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region called for efforts to control and fight floods as he warned that those whose dereliction of duty results in heavy casualties and property loss will be held accountable.