Beijing, Jul 5: The death toll in the recent heavy rains in China has risen to 128 with 42 people still reported missing, the government said today. Over 1.34 million people have been evacuated to safety after incessant rains wreaked havoc in several provinces across the country.
Heavy rain has left 128 people dead and 42 others missing in 11 Chinese provincial regions in five days, Chinese Civil Affairs Ministry ministry said. Continuous rainfall since June 30 has led to the collapse of 41,000 houses and forced the evacuation of more than 1.34 million people in the 11 regions, mostly along the Yangtze River and its distributaries, including Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Hubei and Jiangsu, the ministry said in a statement.
Nearly 600,000 people are in urgent need of basic living assistance, with 23.33 million being threatened by floods, it said. The rain has also destroyed 295,200 hectares of crops. Floods and landslides are also affecting telecommunication and electricity facilities, halting or delaying traffic in some regions.
The ministry has estimated a total economic losses of USD 5.73 billion, state run Xinhua news agency reported. The seasonal rains, known as the "plum rains" or Meiyu-baiyu rains, cause heavy flooding in China every year, usually affecting the country for around two months beginning in late May. At least 98 people were killed and over 800 others injured in heavy rains in east China's Jiangsu province late last month.