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41 Killed as Flood Sweeps Fujian
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Forty-one people are dead in the floods that have swept southeast China's Fujian Province, said the Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Thursday.

Among the victims 19 were killed between Sunday and Wednesday, as central and northern areas of the province have been deluged by rainstorms since Sunday and floods have occurred in many rivers, the headquarters said.

The floods and ensuing natural disasters had affected 1.78 million residents in the central and northern areas, including 356,200 people who were evacuated from their homes, by Wednesday night.

The other 22 people died between May 30 and June 2, the headquarters added.

The floods in central and northern Fujian have caused landslides, mud and rock flows, destroying 9,300 homes and damaging crops on 100,670 hectares in 35 counties and cities, where transport was also hard hit. Direct economic losses are reported to be more than 3.15 billion yuan (US$394 million).

The weather also prevented 4,565 students in Jian'ou city, central Fujian, from sitting the national college entrance exam that started on Wednesday, said Chen Xiong, leader of the city's education bureau.

The entrance exam had to be postponed, said Chen.

Floods are a seasonal hazard in southern China at this time of the year, causing casualties and enormous damage despite government efforts at flood mitigation.

(Xinhua News Agency June 8, 2006)

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