China reels under heavy floods
Beijing, June 22
Massive floods have claimed over 200 lives and millions have been rendered homeless in southern China where relief workers are battling to save thousands of people stranded in a town inundated after a dyke breach.
The heavy rains and floods have ravaged 10 southern Chinese provinces for over a week, leaving an estimated 200 people dead and 123 missing as of today, officials of the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.
Seventy six people were killed and 79 are missing in eastern Fujian province alone, official media reports here said.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao today called for all-out efforts to combat the floods and save lives after a dyke collapsed in heavy rain in east China’s Jiangxi Province.
The dike at a section of the Fuhe River burst last evening at 6:30 p m and threatened nearly 80,000 residents in Fuzhou.
Thousands of panicked residents fled their homes after the dam burst threatening to inundate the residential areas.
The breach in the dam spread to 400 meters today further threatening the safety of people.
More than 68,000 people have been evacuated to safety so far, Xinhua reported.
However, about 12,000 people living in low-lying areas or dangerous buildings were awaiting evacuation till noon local time, said Wu Xinxiong, the provincial governor.
Hu ordered 800 soldiers from the Nanjing Military Zone to help with the rescue work in Fuzhou City of Jiangxi, where the Fuhe River burst its bank last evening. More than 10,000 soldiers and civilians, mobilised by the provincial government, battled dangerous conditions to rescue the people and bring relief.
So far 2.376 million people have had to be evacuated, an official statement said. — PTI