Saturday 21st October, 2017
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50 killed, thousands evacuated in China floods

50 killed, thousands evacuated in China floods

At least 50 people have been killed in floods in China as water levels in more than 60 different rivers have risen above warning levels, according to of­ficials.

The Chinese government said it has dis­bursed $103m in emergency aid so far to help southern and central the provinces deal with the flooding.

The annual floods have been even great­er than normal and the last week has been particularly wet.

Changsa, the capital city of the province of Hunan, recorded nearly half a metre of rain in a week. This amount is well above the average and is nearer what could be expect­ed on average throughout June, July, August and September put together.

Across Hunan, the flooding has forced hundreds of thousands of people to evac­uate, damaged crops and destroyed hous­es, causing a total direct economic loss of $1.22bn, the provincial civil affairs office said.

The river Laodao, a tributary to the mighty Yangtse, exceeded its previous depth and set a new record. At nearly 40 metres, it required a 5km sandbank levee in a failed attempt to save Changsa from flooding.

Rising water levels left Orange Isle, a pop­ular tourist destination in Changsha, almost completely submerged, with only roofs and trees peeking out above the floodwater.

The Yangtse itself, Asia’s longest river and with a capacity to match, has burst its banks in Hunan.

According to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, contin­uous, heavy rain that started in mid-June has caused the water of 10 major tributar­ies of the Yangtze, as well as 89 middle and small-sized ones, to rise to record levels.