China reels under heavy floods, toll rises to 200
Beijing: Massive floods have claimed over
200 lives and millions have been rendered homeless in southern
China where relief workers are battling to save thousands of
people stranded in a town inundated after a dike breach.
The heavy rains and floods have ravaged 10 southern
Chinese provinces for over a week, leaving an estimated 200
people dead and 123 missing as of today, officials of the
Ministry of Civil Affairs said.
Seventy six people were killed and 79 are missing in
eastern Fujian province alone, official media reports here
Meanwhile, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen
Jiabao today called for all-out efforts to combat the floods
and save lives after a dike collapsed in heavy rain in east
China`s Jiangxi Province.
The dike at a section of the Fuhe River burst last
evening at 6:30 p m and threatened nearly 80,000 residents in
Thousands of panicked residents fled their homes after
the dam burst threatening to inundate the residential areas.
The breach in the dam spread to 400 meters today
further threatening the safety of people.
More than 68,000 people have been evacuated to safety
so far, Xinhua reported.
However, about 12,000 people living in low-lying areas
or dangerous buildings were awaiting evacuation till noon
local time, said Wu Xinxiong, the provincial governor.
Hu ordered 800 soldiers from the Nanjing Military Zone
to help with the rescue work in Fuzhou City of Jiangxi, where
the Fuhe River burst its bank last evening.
More than 10,000 soldiers and civilians, mobilised by
the provincial government, battled dangerous conditions to
rescue the people and bring relief.
According to Jiangxi`s civil affairs department,
people in the affected areas were desperately in need of tents
and food, but transport of relief materials had been delayed
as parts of the road linking Fuzhou with the provincial
capital of Nanchang were badly flooded.
The provincial government had sent 800 boxes of
disinfectant and eight trucks of bottled water and instant
noodles and more relief materials were on the way.
More than 29 million people in the provinces and
municipality -- Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan,
Guangdong, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan and Guizhou -- have
been affected by the inclement weather.
So far 2.376 million people have had to be evacuated,
an official statement said.
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