June 20, 2010 in Nation/World

Scores die as China flooding continues

Cara Anna Associated Press

BEIJING – The death toll from flooding this week in southern China rose to 90 Saturday, and 1.4million people were evacuated as the inundated region prepared for more heavy storms.

Fifty people were also missing in nine provinces and regions across China’s south, the state flood control office said. Water levels have surged past safe levels in dozens of rivers, including the Pearl River in the heart of China’s manufacturing region.

China Central Television footage Saturday showed people stranded on rooftops of nearly submerged homes.

Soldiers waded through raging brown water carrying students from an elementary school in Nanping city, in the eastern province of Fujian. More than 1,000 people were evacuated from the school Saturday morning after being stranded by flooded roads, the report said.

As of Saturday, 5.5million people had been affected by flooding including injuries sustained and property losses incurred, an official at the flood control office said. He would not give his name, as is common with Chinese officials.

The office’s deputy director said more than 1.4million residents had been moved from low-lying areas since Thursday, the China Daily newspaper reported.

Thirty-five people died in landslides caused by heavy rain, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday. The flood control office told the Associated Press it was not clear if that number was included in the overall death toll.

The National Meteorological Center warned of heavy rains in the region until this afternoon.

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