22 dead, 7 missing in south China rainstorms

Updated: 2014-05-26 00:09


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BEIJING -- At least 22 people have died and seven others remain missing after downpours hit provinces in south China, local authorities said on Sunday.

The rainstorms, the type that occur once every 100 years due to their ferocity, lashed Guangzhou, Zhaoqing and Qingyuan cities in Guangdong and caused floods, the collapse of houses and mud flows, said the provincial flood control and civil affairs authorities.

From 10 p.m. on Friday to 5 p.m. on Saturday, more than 140,000 people were affected, 21,000 were evacuated and 1,143 houses collapsed, said the provincial civil affairs department.

Since Wednesday, rainstorms in Guangdong have left 15 dead and five missing and affected 800,000 people, with accumulative precipitation of 628 mm in Shanwei City. Sixteen national or provincial highways were closed because of the downpours.

Guangdong provincial authorities have activated an emergency response system and sent working teams and relief materials to affected areas.

Downpours also swept southwestern Guizhou Province, as well as Hunan and Jiangxi provinces in southern China.

Three people died in Guizhou due to a rainstorm on Saturday night and early Sunday, with precipitation of 145.7 mm in Shiqian County.

In Jiangxi, 565,900 residents in Pingxiang City were affected by floods as of 4 p.m. on Sunday and 97,100 locals were evacuated.

In Quannan County of Jiangxi, a rescuer died after his yacht capsized in a river due to engine failure while searching for a missing middle school student.

Heavy rain hit Hunan Province from 8 a.m. on Saturday for 24 hours, with precipitation of 208 mm in Liuyang City.

Three people in Shaodong County died in the rainstorm on Sunday, including a mother and daughter who wanted to save wood from the flood. Some 320,000 people were affected by the floods and 24,000 were evacuated in the county.

About 1,700 hectares of crops and 3.2-km highways were destroyed by the flood in Shaodong.

About 400,000 people in six cities were affected and 16,000 displaced with the collapse of 520 houses, said the Hunan Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

One person was washed away by floodwater in Wenjia City. Rescuers are evacuating trapped residents.