China Floods Kill 250; Thousands Displaced

Torrential rains caused flooding that killed more than 250 people and displaced tens of thousands in two days in southern China, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday.

In Fujian province, 950 miles south of Beijing, at least 233 people were killed and 284 were missing. Some 70,000 homes were destroyed and 100,000 people were homeless.

Hardest-hit was Changting county in Longyan prefecture, where most ground transportation, telecommunications, electricity and water supplies have been cut. Longyan is about 200 miles southwest of the provincial capital of Fuzhou.

Military units have been dispatched to region to help with relief efforts, Xinhua said.

In the neighboring province of Canton bordering Hong Kong, rains last week claimed at least 33 lives and injured about 400 people, according to a local newspaper, the Yangcheng Evening News.

The flood region was largely inaccessible. Six highways and 70 bridges in Canton are closed, the newspaper said. Several of the bridges had been swept away or suffered heavy damage, it said.

The rains swelled the Han River three feet above its dikes, sending murky brown waters cascading over the sides and inundating fields and villages, it said.

Damage was heavy near the Cantonese city of Meizhou and its outlying counties. Meizhou is about 220 miles west of the provincial capital of Canton.

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