China floods kill 52 people, more rain forecast in south

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Floods have killed 52 people and left 32 missing in China since the flood season started in June, a senior official said Wednesday, warning of more heavy rains.

Heavy rains have inundated parts of 12 provinces in central and southern China and affected 4.81 million people so far since the flood season arrived, Shu Qingpeng, deputy head of the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, told a conference.

Floods have destroyed 7,462 houses and submerged 255,000 hectares of farmland, incurring direct economic losses of 4.92 billion yuan (760 million U.S. dollars), he said.

Heavy rainfalls since June 3 have drenched the previously parched lower and middle parts of the Yangtze River basin, increasing water of rivers to alert levels in the provinces of Jiangxi, Hunan and Guizhou.

Wangmo County in Qianxinan Autonomous Prefecture of Guizhou recorded maximum one-hour precipitation of 122.5 millimeters, the most in 200 years, he said.

Shu asked local authorities to monitor closely rainfall and water levels and step up prevention against floods as more downpours are expected to hit many parts of China from June 9 to 12.

Editor: Deng Shasha