China

China has brought flood under control

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BEIJING, Sept 20, 2004 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- China has brought floods under control so far this year, said Zhang Zhitong, an official with the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, here Monday.

Water levels of certain reaches of the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River, together with the Xijiang River, a branch of the Pearl River, topped the warning line this summer. But other rivers and lakes in China stayed safe and sound, said Zhang.

The official said that this year's death toll sharply decreased as against the same period in the 1990s. All levels of the flood control and drought relief departments have formed complete emergency plans, said Zhang.

In west China, continuous rainfall triggered serious flooding, mountain torrents, mudflows and landslides.

As of Sept. 15, the disasters had killed 1,029 people and caused a loss of 64.7 billion yuan (about 7.8 billion US dollars) while 7.59 million hectares of farmland were reported affected by the floods, the official said.

The central provinces of Hunan, Hubei and Henan, western Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and eastern Zhejiang Province suffered greater losses in this summer's flood.

The official added that China should further improve its capabilities dealing with mountain torrents, mudflows and landslides, which brought about three quarters of the death toll this summer.