Torrential Rain Kills 14 People In China
The Ministry of Civil Affairs released the latest death toll on Friday showing 14 people have died following heavy rains since Thursday.
A two-storey school building went down in a mudslide prompted by heavy rains on Friday morning, which caused the death of a 57-year-old primary school teacher. His eight year old grandson also died during the incident in Fuzhou, Jiangxi province.
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The local civil affairs bureau reported that two others are still missing.
Reports said that torrential rains affected about 55 million people in Shangrao. The report said that about 100 buildings and more than 300 hectares of crops were damaged.
Violent rainstorms have been pounding China’s central and southern regions. The heavy downpour has already caused flight suspension, widespread flooding and claimed more than a dozen lives.
On Friday morning, the National Meteorological Center has raised its rain signal level to yellow alert. Heavy downpours have been reported to continue in the provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang, Hunan, Anhui, Guangdong and Jiangxi. Torrential rains are expected to hit the autonomous region of Guangxi Zhuang before Monday.
The civil affairs bureau in Hunan reported that mudslides and flooding have killed three people in the province. The bureau also said that there are still two others missing while 25,000 people were already evacuated on Friday.
The bureau also reported 800 destroyed houses. Economic losses have already been estimated to reach about US$52.3 million.
The historic town of Fenghuang which holds a 300-year old architecture was closed. Authorities decided to halt its tourism operations on Thursday to ensure safety.
Public transportation in Guangdong and Hunan were also delayed or suspended on Thursday because of mudslides. A China Eastern Airlines carrier has been reported to miss the runway during landing in Shanxi. Torrential rains and poor visibility have been identified as culprits for planes to miss landings. No deaths or injuries have been reported.
Authorities warned residents of eight provinces of heavy rains. Residents were also warned about possible mudslides.
NMC chief weather forecaster Zhang Tao said that the current downpour has been expected to be the heaviest this year. Zhang also warned the public of heavy urban flooding and mudslides in the days ahead.
Guangdong provincial water resources bureau deputy director Qiu Dehua said that public safety will be threatened due to heavy rainstorms.
Qiu said that weather updates would be released every three hours to predict the probable location, time and strength of rain.
The heavy rainfall in different Chinese provinces has already killed 43 people and affected more than 4 million others in Guizhou, Guangdong, Guangxi and Fujian since March 30. This was according to a report from the Pearl River Water Resources Commission on Tuesday. The report went on saying that economic losses have already been accounted to reach more than CNY12 billion (US$1.9 billion).