China's central government on Wednesday earmarked 116 million yuan (US$14.5 million) in emergency disaster relief for flood victims in south China.
The funds, jointly appropriated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and Ministry of Finance, are to be distributed among Fujian, Jiangxi and Guangdong provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said a source with the Civil Affairs ministry.
Continuous heavy rains since May 25 have caused serious floods in Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Sichuan and Guizhou provinces, Guangxi, and Chongqing Municipality.
To date, 137 people have been reported dead and 39 missing. The severe weather has also forced the displacement of 1.14 million people and destroyed 106,000 homes.
"Direct economic losses from the floods are estimated at 11.3 billion yuan," said an official with the ministry.
The funds are part of a relief package organized by central authorities, regional governments and non-governmental organizations.
(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2006)