12 Jun 2011

Floods and landslides in China kill at least 94

5:52 pm on 12 June 2011

Torrential rains battering central and southern China have caused floods and landslides that have killed at least 94 people.

The China News Service says weather stations in Yueyang in southern Hunan province recorded more than 200 millimetres of rain in six hours, the kind of downpour that strikes once every 300 years.

In Maojiazu Village in Yueyang, the downpours triggered a mudslide that crushed 24 homes and killed at least 20 residents, with another seven missing under boulders and mud, most likely dead, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The state flood control and drought relief office warned that heavy rains forecast along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River basin could trigger floods in an area gripped by drought less than two weeks ago.

By late Saturday, the floods across parts of 13 provinces had killed 94 people with 78 missing, damaged 465,000 hectares of crops, and toppled 27,100 houses and other buildings, the flood and drought office said.

That death toll did not appear to include all those killed in Hunan province and elsewhere.