China

China predicts further downpours after 66 die

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BEIJING, June 11 (Reuters) - Torrential rain has killed at least 66 people in floods, house collapses and rockslides across southern China with more heavy rain predicted for much of this week, state media said on Monday.

"We've got experience of floods," Zhong Shizhan, a resident of Mei county in Guangdong province, was quoted as saying by the Southern Metropolis Daily.

"But I've never known a flood like this."

The National Meteorological Centre forecast heavy rain south of the Yangtze River, China's longest, and continued downpours in the south of the country until Thursday.

One official said the rain had stopped in the northeastern Guangdong city of Meizhou where a local government Web site showed pictures of people standing waist deep in brown flood waters and others filling sandbags to keep the waters at bay.

Flooding had damaged 94,000 houses and destroyed 48,000 in the region and forced the evacuation of about 591,000 people, the China Daily said. Nearly 9 million people had been "affected". Twelve people were missing.

A total of 294,800 hectares, or 1,140 sq miles, of crops had been damaged and 53,000 hectares had been destroyed.

From Wednesday to Saturday, continuous rain, mudslides and floods hit the provinces of Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Jiangxi and Fujian.

China's typhoon season is just getting under way in the south. Experts last month warned that the Yangtze could flood badly this year for the first time since 1998 when flooding killed more than 3,000 people.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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