Friday, September 26, 2008

Torrential rain leaves 16 dead, 48 missing in China's quake zone

Flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain have left 16 people dead and, and there are fears for the safety of 48 others missing in an area in southwest China still recovering from the 8.0-magnitude earthquake on May 12, local authorities said on Friday.

Almost 1.3 million people were affected by the disasters in Mianyang City in Sichuan Province, of whom 20,000 need emergency evacuation, a city government spokesman said.

"So far, we have moved 18,000 residents who were threatened with danger to safe areas. We are now relocating the other 2,000,"he said.

The downpours and ensuing flash floods, landslides and mud-rock flows also damaged more than 40,000 houses and leveled 16,000 others. Direct economic losses were estimated at 1.6 billion yuan , he said.

In addition, almost 61,000 hectares of crops were ruined and 5,310 cattle were killed.

Rainstorms began pounding Mianyang on Monday, a hard-hit area during the devastating quake in May that left 87,000 people dead or missing.

Source: Xinhua

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