BEIJING, July 22 (Xinhua) -- China issued a grade-IV emergency response on Friday following rainstorms and flooding across central China's Henan Province, which have left 15 people dead.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs and the China National Commission for Disaster Reduction have sent teams to assist relief work on the ground.
Since July 18, Henan has been battered by rain and floods. By 7 a.m. Friday, 15 people had died, eight others remained missing, and 72,000 had been evacuated to safer places, according to local government.
The disaster also destroyed 18,000 houses, ruined 3,500 hectares of crops, and caused 930 million yuan (139.5 million U.S. dollars) in direct economic losses.
A grade-IV response, the lowest in China's emergency response system, requires a 24-hour alert, daily damage reports, and the allocation of money and relief materials within 48 hours.
Henan's disaster response and civil affairs authorities have delivered quilts, drinking water, food and other relief to the disaster stricken areas.