Beijing: At least 50 people have died and 42 missing as floods triggered by strong rainfall have battered many parts of China since June 20, authorities said on Friday.
More than 10.4 million people have been affected by downpours in 399 counties in Inner Mongolia, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan and Guizhou, with 1.247 million in urgent need of aid so far, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said in Beijing.
Torrential rain also toppled 34,000 houses, damaged another 89,000 and rendered 738,000 hectares of crops unharvestable in these regions, resulting in direct economic losses worth 10.3 billion yuan (USD 1.62 billion).
Some of the affected provinces have been battered by numerous rounds of heavy rain since April while other usually water-starved regions, including Inner Mongolia autonomous region, have suffered record levels of rain that have seen many of their crops ruined, it said.
More than half of the affected counties and cities are in the country's impoverished regions and ethnic areas where local residents with already limited means of self-support largely rely on government aid, state-run Xinhua news agency reported quoting the ministry.
Local governments in disaster-hit regions have poured more than 90 million yuan into living aid, including 20 million yuan allocated in Inner Mongolia - one of the hardest-hit areas, said the ministry.
Vowing to keep close track of how these disaster unfold, the National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the ministry promised to trigger emergency responses in a timely manner and offer relief guidance for affected areas.
Story first published:
June 29, 2012 19:25 IST