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Storms Inflict Further Damage
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Floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain continued to wreak havoc across parts of southern China over the weekend.

A total of 877 residents were evacuated from their homes on Saturday in Wuzhou, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, bringing the number of evacuees from the city's flood-affected areas to 100,000.

All the evacuees are living in local schools or temporary shelters on high ground, according to the Wuzhou municipal government.

Wuzhou was hit by rainstorms on Thursday, which triggered landslides, mud flows and flash floods, leaving 14 people dead and 27 others injured.

Meanwhile in East China's Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou's famous West Lake was far from its usual "paradise on earth," as force 11 gusts overturned 16 tourist boats and uprooted 629 trees, the worst damage since 1988.

Also in the province, seven people working at a construction site under a bridge in Hangzhou Bay were blown into the water by a strong gust and are still missing, local officials said.

In neighbouring Fujian Province, residents of Changting County escaped unhurt after the bank of a river collapsed and flooded nearby villages on Thursday, the local government said. Eleven villages were flooded, but "no injuries were reported and water levels are receding," officials said on Friday. The site of the breach has been plugged.

Four passenger trains bound for provincial capital Fuzhou have been halted in Shanghai, officials with the city's railway station said.

At the same time, more than 4,000 passengers were evacuated in Minqing after heavy rain washed out an approximately 300-meter section of track on the Minqing-Fuzhou line on Saturday.

More than 100 buses have been dispatched from Fuzhou to take the passengers to city, reports said.

Statistics indicated that by Friday, the floods in Fujian had killed 25 people with 5 still missing. Approximately 3 million people have been affected by the storms, for example by destruction of property.

In South China's Guangdong Province, people in Heping County had to leave their homes after a series of landslides hit the area, China Central Television said over the weekend. However, the report did not give any details on when the landslides occurred or if there were any injuries.

Officials with the provincial anti-flood headquarters said yesterday the water level in four major Pearl River tributaries is declining rapidly thanks to a decrease in rainfall.

(China Daily June 12, 2006)

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