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Floods affect more than 5 mln in border province

HARBIN, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Floods and heavy rain have affected more than 5.2 million people in the Sino-Russian bordering province of Heilongjiang, local authorities said on Wednesday.

As of Monday, residents from 904 towns and townships have been affected by the floods, and among them, 331,000 people have been relocated, said the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The floods have also caused 18,300 houses to collapse and roads to be temporarily cut off on 1,315 occasions, according to the headquarters, adding that total economic losses for the province are estimated at 19.1 billion yuan (3.12 billion U.S. dollars).

More than 8,000 relief workers are still battling the floods.

The Heilongjiang River has swelled since mid-August, with some sections of its middle and lower reaches seeing their worst floods in history. The water levels of Nenjiang River and Songhua River have also exceeded their warning level for weeks.

The provincial water resource department estimates the water levels of mainstream Songhua River and Heilongjiang River to recede and return to normal after Sept. 20 and 30 respectively.

Editor: An