12 Jul 2009

South-west China floods leave at least 15 dead

1:50 pm on 12 July 2009

Torrential rains and floods pummelling south-west China this week killed at least 15 people and forced nearly 100,000 to relocate, destroying thousands of homes.

The floods have led to the collapse of 10,100 houses and damaged more than 29,000 in Sichuan Province in continuous rainfall since 3 July, the official news agency Xinhua quoted the Ministry of Civil Affairs as saying.

The report on Saturday said at least 12 cities and 43 counties in Sichuan are affected by floods, and 99,000 people have been relocated, warning the figures may still rise amid continuing rainfall in the northeast of the province.

In a separate report, Xinhua said at least seven tourists were killed and more than 10 others are missing after a group was hit by a flash flood on Saturday while rafting in Tanzhang valley in neighbouring Chongqing. It did not say where the tourists were from.

South and central China are prone to major flooding during the annual summer rainy season.