China Focus: Over 20 dead, missing in south China rainstorms

Source: Xinhua| 2020-06-11 00:32:25|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, June 10 (Xinhua) -- More than 20 people have been killed or remain missing after torrential downpours unleashed floods and mudslides in south China, according to a count based on local official reports.

As of 2 p.m. on Tuesday, the rain-triggered floods had affected some 2.63 million people in 11 provincial-level regions, the Ministry of Emergency Management said.

The heavy rain forced the relocation of about 228,000 people, destroyed over 1,300 houses and brought direct economic losses of over 4 billion yuan (about 566 million U.S. dollars), the ministry said.

In Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China, six people were killed and one is missing after days of downpours.

By 6 p.m. Tuesday, nearly 1.3 million people had been affected by the floods, including 195,800 who were relocated to safe areas, the Guangxi regional emergency management department said.

The extreme weather has dealt a hefty blow to the region's tourism sector, which is still reeling from the COVID-19 epidemic.

In Yangshuo, a popular tourist destination known for its karst mountains and river sights, streets were waterlogged after a sudden flood, forcing residents and tourists to be evacuated on bamboo rafts.

The county government of Yangshuo said more than 1,000 hotels and family inns and 5,000 shops have been flooded. Over 30 tourist sites were damaged.

"Our losses are estimated at 3 million yuan, but it's a relief that none of our guests were harmed," said Zhang Ting, owner of a family inn, whose rooms were submerged in 1 meter of rainwater on Sunday.

Reporters at the site said firefighters, police officers and other rescuers stayed after the floods subsided to help clean debris and disinfect public facilities.

In central Hunan Province, at least 13 people were killed in rain-triggered disasters as of Wednesday.

Six of the deaths were reported in Baojing County, where heavy rain unleashed landslides and floods, destroying several village houses early on Wednesday morning. The disastrous events also left one person missing and three others injured.

Authorities said the persistent rain had affected 321,000 people in 21 counties and cities of Hunan, while 11,000 residents were relocated and received assistance.

Since June 2, downpours have hit large parts of south China, resulting in dangerously high water levels in 110 rivers in eight provincial-level regions, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

Massive relocations also occurred in the provinces of Guangdong, Guizhou and Jiangxi.

In south China's Guangdong Province, over 20,000 people were relocated following heavy rains, the local emergency management department said Tuesday, adding that hundreds of tents, as well as clothes, bottled water and food, have been delivered to the hard-hit cities of Zhaoqing and Qingyuan.

In Guizhou Province in southwest China, intense rain left eight people missing or dead, the local emergency-response department said, adding that 2,800 people were relocated.

The rain and flooding also damaged 10,700 hectares of crops and damaged more than 2,800 houses in the mountainous province, according to the department.

Chinese meteorological authorities on Wednesday said rainstorms and floods will continue to hit parts of the country for the next 24 hours.

Further heavy rain and rainstorms are expected from Wednesday night to Thursday night in some parts of Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Fujian, Chongqing, Guizhou, Guangxi and Heilongjiang, the National Meteorological Center said. Enditem