Heavy rain leaves 56 dead in South China; 22 miss­ing

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

At least 56 peo­ple have been killed and an­other 22 re­ported miss­ing as heavy rains con­tinue to pum­mel south­ern China, flood­ing towns, cut­ting off power and halt­ing traf­fic, China’s Min­istry of Civil Af­fairs said yes­ter­day. As much as 48.6 cen­time­ters of rain has been dumped on sev­eral cities since Thurs­day, in­clud­ing the scenic re­sort city of Guilin in the Guangxi re­gion, the min­istry said.

More than 11 mil­lion peo­ple in 11 south­ern prov­inces were af­fected by floods, land­slides and hail­storms, the min­istry said. Rivers have bro­ken their banks, in­un­dat­ing sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties. The min­istry said wa­ter lev­els in ma­jor rivers and lakes in the south­ern prov­ince of Hu­nan have surged to alarm­ing lev­els, and that the col­lapse of lev­ees forced large-scale evac­u­a­tions. Dozens of flights at sev­eral air­ports serv­ing ma­jor cities in the re­gion in­clud­ing Chengdu, Chang­sha, Guangzhou, and Shen­zhen were can­celed or de­layed, strand­ing thou­sands of trav­el­ers.

Chengdu’s air­port was shut down for more than an hour Mon­day be­cause of rain, forc­ing 13 in­com­ing flights to land else­where, ac­cord­ing to state me­dia re­ports. Trains also were halted, and roads were cut off to many towns and vil­lages in the re­gion. Tele­vi­sion footage showed ma­jor flood­ing in cities, where the lower floors of homes and shops have been sub­merged. The na­tional me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal cen­ter fore­cast more rain to come this week in south­ern China.—AP

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