Floods, landslides leave 29 dead in W China

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The death toll from a new round of floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains in west China has risen to 29, with 24 missing and thousands trapped, local authorities said Friday.

The casualties come after mudslides devastated Zhouqu County in Gansu less than a week ago, leaving more than a thousand dead.

Downpours pounded some areas of Gansu, Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces from Wednesday night to Thursday night, destroying homes, inundating croplands, and disrupting traffic and telecommunications.

In Longnan, Gansu, the death toll rose from 10 to 20, with 16 missing as of Friday noon, according to the latest information from the Longnan municipal government.

A total of 3,012 people were still trapped by floodwaters while 10,556 have been evacuated to safe areas, the government said.

Local authorities are evacuating residents and have dispatched tents, instant noodles, bottled water, quilts and pans to the disaster-hit areas, the government said.

In Tianshui, Gansu, four people have died and eight are missing, the local government said.

In Mianzhu, Sichuan, mudslides have left five people dead and 500 others trapped in the rural mountainous areas, a spokesman with the municipal government said.

Government staff, troops and factory workers have been mobilized to help evacuate the disaster-stricken residents, the spokesman said.` In Weinan, Shaanxi, floods have affected some 100,000 people and forced an evacuation of 4,600 residents. More than 4,800 homes were destroyed or damaged, a spokesman with the Weinan Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau said.

In another development, meteorological authorities have warned of more heavy rains in the coming days for Gansu's Zhouqu County, where the devastating mudslides have left 1,156 people dead and 588 missing.

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