Seventy people have died during a rainstorm in several cities and counties in central China's Hunan province.
The rainstorm resulting in a landslide and flooding also caused property losses of over 2 billion yuan (about 240 million US dollars).
The torrential rainfall, not seen for years in this region, affected cities like Chenzhou, Hengyang, Yongzhou and Zhuzhou with populations totaling 3.5 million, local sources said.
About 45 percent of urban areas in Chenzhou city were flooded. An official with the Hunan Provincial government noted that the next two days will be a crucial time for the province in its fight against the floods.
The Hunan provincial and local governments have formed emergency teams and have sent officials to the affected areas to organize rescue and relief efforts.
( People's Daily August 10, 2002)