20 dead, 8 missing as record heavy rain triggers floods in Xinjiang

Editor: yan

URUMQI, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Twenty people have died in floods caused by torrential rain in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Tuesday, authorities said Friday.

Another eight people remain missing after the downpours hit Qincheng Township in Hami from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on July 31, according to the regional disaster relief headquarters.

Over 8,700 houses, farmland, roads, railway lines, and power and telecommunication facilities were damaged in the floods.

In one hour rainfall reached 110 mm, while the previous highest recorded level was only 52.4 mm in the area, said the headquarters.

The floods triggered a partial breach of a reservoir, as the floodwater flowing into the reservoir reached 1,848 cubic meters per second, tripling the maximum of 537 cubic meters per second designed to withstand the worst flood in 300 years.

Li Zhong, from the headquarters, said the regional Party committee and government have set up headquarters for relief operations.

More than 3,000 people including officials, soldiers, and medical staff have taken part in the efforts so far.

Over 5,500 residents have been evacuated. They have been provided with tents, daily necessities and medical treatment in temporary relocation sites.

Ministry of Emergency Management and local government departments have sent tents, beds, quilts, raincoats, boots, water, food and medicine to people affected by floods.

Meanwhile, sanitation and epidemic prevention, traffic and power departments have also dispatched personnel to deal with post-disaster problems.

Traffic has resumed on roads damaged by floods, and power supplies and communication facilities have been reconnected.