40 dead as China witnesses worst floods in decades

Beijing, Aug 19 (IANS) Hundreds of thousands of people have been engaged in relief efforts in northeast China as the worst flooding in decades has killed at least 40 people since Friday.

Fifteen deaths were reported in Liaoning province Sunday, raising the death toll to 40 due to floods, Xinhua reported. The latest deaths were all recorded in Fushun City.

Thirty-two others went missing after downpours drenched the city Friday and Saturday, said a press briefing from the local flood control and drought relief authorities.

Dams were damaged and businesses suspended operation in the city. Some 349 houses collapsed and 139,800 houses were damaged. A total of 4,000 people required temporary shelters.

In the province, about 100,000 people have been evacuated and nearly 800,000 were affected in the floods after downpours with a maximum precipitation of 400 mm within 24 hours hit Liaoning, authorities said.

Some 113,333 hectares of farmland were also affected in the floods. The economic losses caused by the floods in Liaoning were estimated to reach over 2.1 billion yuan (about $340 million), according to municipal flood control and drought relief headquarters.

More than 110,000 people are participating in disaster relief efforts in the province, as northeast China has been hit by the worst flooding in decades this summer.

Heavy downpour caused by monsoon has affected over a million people in China, said authorities Saturday.

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