A mountain torrent on Wednesday morning destroyed military barracks in east China's Jiangxi Province, claiming six lives and leaving 38 others missing, military sources said on Thursday morning.
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Central Military Commission (CMC) has urged that rescuers pay particular attention to the safety of the servicemen.
Chinese President and Central Military Commission Chairman Hu Jintao ordered "prompt and all-out efforts" to search for the missing and keep casualties to a minimum, military sources said.
The mountain torrent was triggered by Typhoon Kaemi. The 38 missing people include military officers, soldiers and their families, according to initial investigations.
The headquarters of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and the CPC Jiangxi Provincial Committee had dispatched working teams to organize rescue operations.
Kaemi has been lashing central and southern parts of Jiangxi Province with rainstorms since Tuesday afternoon, triggering floods and landslides.
Rescuers have evacuated 10,845 civilians in the worst hit areas, where maximum rainfall in just six hours exceeded 280 millimeters.
At least 329,000 people in Jiangxi have been affected by rainstorms and ensuing disasters; 9,210 houses toppled and 6,400 hectares of farmland destroyed. Direct economic losses were estimated at 150 million yuan (US$18.75 million).
(Xinhua News Agency July 27, 2006)