At Least 56 Killed As Heavy Rains Leave China Devastated

The rains have devastated China, leaving at least 56 people dead and causing damages worth 25.27 billion yuan.

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At Least 56 Killed As Heavy Rains Leave China Devastated

About 3,000 armed police have been sent to the flood- fighting front line in Hunan. (AFP)

Beijing:  At least 56 people have been killed and 22 others missing as heavy rains left a trail of destruction in 11 Chinese provinces, authorities said today.

A total of 27,000 houses have collapsed and 37,000 others damaged in floods, landslides and hailstorms since June 29 in Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

Direct economic losses were estimated at 25.27 billion yuan (US$ 3.72 billion).

Yesterday, the government allocated 1.88 billion yuan (US$ 270 million) to 20 provinces for disaster relief, the state- run Xinhua news agency reported.

The ministry and China National Commission for Disaster Reduction have sent teams and materials to assist disaster-hit areas in Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan and Guizhou.

About 3,000 armed police have been sent to the flood-fighting front line in Hunan.

Early reports said the water level at the Changsha monitoring station in the Xiangjiang river, a major Yangtze tributary, reached a record high of 39.51 meters early yesterday, higher than the previous record of 39.18 meters set by a massive flood in 1998.

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