Rains wreck havoc in China, 46 killed, 50 missing

At least 46 people died and 50 were reported missing following heavy rains.

Updated: Jun 17, 2010, 16:14 PM IST

Beijing: At least 46 people died and 50 were reported missing following heavy rains in China`s southern regions which continued for the past five days, affecting millions of local residents.

Flash floods and landslides caused by the heavy rains have brought about casualties and economic loss in 74 county-level cities in six southern provincial-level regions, including Fujian, Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangxi, Guangxi and Sichuan, the China`s Civil Affairs Ministry said here today.

More than 2.56 million people have been affected and about 238,000 were evacuated from their homes, it said, adding that more than 33,000 homes were collapsed or damaged.

The rains and ensuing floods and landslides had caused direct economic losses of USD 398 million with about 126,700 hectares of crops affected, of which 14,500 hectares had been destroyed, a news agency reported.’

The ministry and the Chinese National Committee for Disaster Reduction Tuesday initiated a level-IV emergency response plan, dispatching work teams to guide the relief work in the three worst-hit regions - Fujian, Guangxi and Sichuan.

The National Meteorological Center issued a rainstorm alert on Wednesday as more rain is expected to hit southern China over coming days.