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Thursday, Jul 12, 2007
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BEIJING: More than 66.3 million Chinese have been affected by floods this summer, with 360 persons killed and direct economic losses of 24.3 billion yuan, according to latest figures from the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.
Apart from 217,000 houses wholly or partially destroyed, more than 4.28 million hectares of grain crops have been hit, with 2.03million hectares completely destroyed, said an official.
Most of the deaths occurred after continuous downpours across the Jialing River Valley in southwest China’s Sichuan Province since the beginning of the month which have resulted in floods in almost all the tributaries of Jujiang River, a branch of the Jialing, and triggered severe mountain torrents, mud-rock flows and landslides, he said.
The ferocious floods battered 40 counties along their route, submerging the downtown areas of four counties and shattering two small water dams.
He warned that the situation across the Huaihe River Valley is at flashpoint with all trunk rivers there reporting dangerously high water levels.
The floods in the River Valley are reminiscent of the grave situation in 2003, he said.
To cope with the situation, the headquarters have launched a red-alert emergency reaction scheme, manoeuvring upper-reach reservoirs to retain water and diverting water into other waterways to weaken flood peaks. — Xinhua
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