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Seven Dead in Sichuan Rainstorms
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Seven people were killed and one was missing after continuous rainstorms ravaged a city in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Torrential rains hit Yibin city in southern Sichuan from Wednesday to Saturday, bringing precipitations of up to 268 millimeters and triggering landslides and floods.

Five people were killed in landslides, two by lightning, and one was washed away by floodwater, according to the provincial disaster relief office.

The downpours also caused an evacuation of 2,256 people, flattened 369 houses and three bridges, and caused damages to another 2,611 houses and sections of roads, the office said.

Yibin city suffered a direct economic loss of 25 million yuan (US$3.3 million) from the rainstorms, 7.67 million yuan in the agricultural sector.

Officials from the provincial-level water, land and resources, and civil affairs departments have rushed to the affected areas for relief work.

Natural disasters, including floods, landslides and lightning, left 1,279 dead and 239 missing in China in the first seven months this year, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

In the latest toll, 39 people have died and nine others are missing following the trail of destruction left by Typhoon Sepat in Fujian, Jiangxi, Zhejiang and Hunan provinces, the ministry said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 27, 2007)

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