Floods in Liaoning leave 54 dead
Updated: 2013-08-20 07:52
By Liu Ce in Shenyang (China Daily)
Floods in Northeast China's Liaoning province, triggered by downpours from Thursday to Saturday, have left 54 people dead and 97 others missing, according to the Liaoning Civil Affairs Bureau on Monday.
Soldiers search for victims' bodies after floods hit Fushun city, Liaoning province, Aug 18, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]
About 162,000 people were evacuated and 1.8 million were affected by the floods, the bureau said.
On Monday, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang issued instructions about flood relief work, calling for all-out rescue efforts and stressing the need to always put people's lives and safety first.
The economic loss in the province was estimated at about 8.5 billion yuan ($1.39 billion). The provincial government has allocated 140 million yuan in disaster relief funds and sent tents and blankets to help the people affected.
The National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs have raised the emergency response level from 4 to 3 to cope with flooding in Liaoning on Monday.
Under a level 3 response, the second-lowest of four levels, disaster relief authorities should send a work team to the disaster-hit zone within 24 hours and allocate relief materials within 48 hours if losses are considered to be extensive.
Vice-Minister of Civil Affairs Jiang Li is leading a work team in the area to guide relief efforts.
The deaths in the province were all recorded in Fushun, which experienced its worst flooding in decades. The rainfall on Friday reached 449 millimeters in the hardest-hit area of the city.
"I was scared as the water rose so quickly. I had no time to take anything, only to climb to the roof with my wife," said Jiao Weimin, who lives in Beikouqian, a village in the Xinbin Manchu autonomous county of Fushun.
He tried to search for anything valuable left in his drenched shanty but failed. "Fortunately, we are alive," the 23-year-old said.
He and other local people are now living in the village primary school as a temporary shelter, and the local government is delivering daily meals and other necessities.
More than 100 metric tons of food supplies, including instant noodles, bread and cookies, have been delivered in the past three days, according to the Fushun authority.
The government also sent six helicopters to drop food, medicine, tents and other relief supplies to the hardest-hit areas.
The transportation department of Fushun has repaired main roads damaged by floods.
Water and power supplies and communications in several villages of the city are being gradually restored.
Xinhua contributed to this story