40 killed as floods ravage NE China

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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.

Local residents wash clothes by a river in flood-battered Nankouqian County, Fushun City of northeast China's Liaoning Province, Aug. 18, 2013.

Local residents wash clothes by a river in flood-battered Nankouqian County, Fushun City of northeast China's Liaoning Province, Aug. 18, 2013.[Xinhua]

Liaoning Province on Sunday reported 15 deaths, bringing the death toll from the severe floods to 40 in the area.

The deaths in the province were all recorded in Fushun City. Thirty-two others went missing after downpours drenched the city on Friday and Saturday, according to a press briefing from the municipal flood control and drought relief headquarters.

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 are in need of temporary shelters.

Gao Fuyan, 53, a villager of Nanzamu Township in the Manchu Autonomous County of Xinbin, was one of them.

"I had to spend the night on the roof yesterday. The rain was so heavy and I was so scared," Gao said.

Two bags and a plastic bag containing some old clothes were all she had after the floods.

The power and water supply in the town were cut off after the torrential rain.

In the whole 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, according to the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

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 more than 2.1 billion yuan (340.5 million U.S. dollars), according to the headquarters.

More than 110,000 people are participating in disaster relief efforts in Liaoning.

Northeast China has been hit by the worst flooding in decades this summer.

Floods hit a residential community in Hongshi Township, Huadian City, Jilin Province on Friday, leaving 14 dead.

Hundred of affected residents are sheltered in a township primary school.

About 760,000 people in 211 townships of 28 counties in Jilin were affected by the floods. Some 1,633 houses collapsed and 17 reservoirs were damaged, according to the Jilin provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The water levels of seven rivers and 33 reservoirs have gone beyond their danger lines, the headquarters said.

According to weather forecasts, another two rainfalls are expected to hit the province in the next week, which will dampen the flood relief efforts.

The provincial government has allocated 700 beds, 4,200 quilts and 250 tents to the flood-hit areas.

Wang Rulin, secretary of the Jilin Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, required the provincial government to eliminate the risks of reservoirs, better accommodate the affected residents and restore the damaged infrastructure as soon as possible.

Heilongjiang Province reported 11 flood-related deaths. The floods have destroyed more than 2,500 houses and severely damaged at least 12,500 others, with direct economic losses estimated at 7.13 billion yuan (1.15 billion U.S. dollars).

The water levels of Songhua River and Heilongjiang River, two major rivers in the province, have been on the rise over the past week.

The water level at the Jiayin county section of the Heilongjiang River reached 100.09 meters, 0.59 meters more than the safety level. Some 15,290 people in the county had been evacuated by Sunday morning, according to the county's flood control and drought relief headquarters.

More than 60,000 people in Heilongjiang Province have been engaged in rescue efforts.

Premier Li Keqiang said at an executive meeting of the State Council on Friday that more drought relief and flood prevention efforts are needed as autumn grain production enters its key phase.

Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang are major grain-producing provinces in China.

Post-disaster agricultural production recovery should be enhanced as well, Li said, adding that fiscal support will be provided to support grain-growers and prevent pests and disease.

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