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Death toll from torrential rains rises to 55
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Two more people were confirmed dead on Thursday as rainstorms continued to hit China, bringing death toll to 55.

One person was killed by lightning and another in floods, said the civil affairs department of central China's Hubei Province.

Hubei, where all 49 counties were hit by rainstorms, has so far reported four deaths from lightning and one from flooding.

The southwestern Guizhou Province was the worst hit, with 36 people killed by flash floods and 14 missing, followed by Hunan with seven deaths, Hubei with five, Guangxi with four and Jiangxi with three.

The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters launched a level-three emergency response plan on Wednesday to address possible flooding problems.

Under the plan, three inspection teams were set up to supervise the flood relief work in Guizhou, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces among others.

E Jingping, secretary general of the headquarters, urged local governments to strengthen their monitoring of the floods and act to avert possible dangers.

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