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Guizhou floods force 113,000 to evacuate
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Torrential rains last month had forced the evacuation of 113,000 people in China's southwestern Guizhou Province, according to the provincial flood control headquarters.

From May 1 to 31, a total of 365 towns in 40 counties were hit by torrential rains, leaving at least 39 people dead, 12 missing and 1.44 million affected, said a spokesman of the headquarters on Wednesday.

The disaster also destroyed 4,669 houses, causing a direct economic loss of more than 1 billion yuan (US$150 million).

Torrential rains also triggered frequent landslides.

In the worst-hit Wangmo County, a flash flood caused 13 deaths and a loss of 806 million yuan. The precipitation on May 26 reached 41 millimeters an hour and 92 millimeters in three hours.

Villagers from the mountainous county had been moved to safety in lowland areas.

"Our farmland was destroyed by floods," said Wei Guangying, 60. "The house was damaged and we dare not live there any more."

The Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Ministry of Finance allocated 16 million yuan on Tuesday to Guizhou for disaster relief.

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

(Xinhua News Agency June 4, 2008)

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