Flood-stricken Hubei Province is calculating the full scope of a disaster which has left 26 people dead and 8 missing, a spokesman with the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Tuesday.
As heavy rain battered the province on June 27, over 8,600 houses collapsed and a further 44,800 suffered structural damage, leading to the mass relocation of around 71,000 people.
Agricultural losses were estimated at close to 596 million yuan (about US$78 million) with around 160,700 hectares of farmland being drowned, said the spokesman, although total economic losses could soar to 1.79 billion yuan.
The ministry immediately dispatched working teams to flooded areas to coordinate disaster relief efforts.
(Xinhua News Agency July 3, 2007)