Recent floods and landslides caused by heavy rains that have persisted since April in east China's Fujian province have affected more than 400,000 people, local civil affairs officials said Thursday.
A total of 484,000 people from 32 counties in Fujian have been affected by recent storms, hail and flooding as of 3 p.m. Wednesday. One person was killed by a lightning strike and 22,400 people have been removed, according to the provincial Civil Affairs Department.
The natural disasters have also affected 25,000 hectares of crops, the department said.
Direct economic losses are estimated to be 1.3 billion yuan (207 million U.S. dollars), it said.
More rain is expected to hit Fujian amid the rainy season, which began in late April.
To minimize future losses, storm and flood warnings should be issued in a timely manner, while reservoirs and water projects should be checked and ruled out as potential hazards in accordance with requirements sent by the provincial flood control headquarters, the department said.
Six people died after being buried in an April 24 landslide in Fujian. Recent rains, illegal rare earth mining and landslide-prone geological conditions were all cited as potential causes of the disaster.