China

Heavy rain in S China kills 19

BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) -- A fresh round of heavy rain hitting south China since May 6 has resulted in 19 deaths and left one person missing, according to an initial tally from local civil affairs departments.

As of 7 a.m. on Monday, continuous rain and consequent floods have affected more than 3.47 million people in 204 counties and cities in 12 provincial-level regions, with 187,000 people in urgent need of resettlement and living aid.

The information was carried in a statement released on Monday afternoon by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Committee for Disaster Reduction.

Citing Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the provinces of Hunan and Guizhou as the hardest-hit regions, the statement said this round of rainfall was characterized by the large area covered and high intensity in specific regions, as precipitation in seriously hit parts topped 200 mm.

The rain has also toppled some 5,000 houses, damaged another 46,000 and destroyed 26,900 hectares of crops. Direct economic losses are estimated at 1.8 billion yuan (290 million U.S. dollars).

While giving detailed disaster management instructions for relief officials in affected regions, the ministry and the committee said they had strengthened coordination with weather, water resources and agricultural departments on information sharing and emergency responses.

Meanwhile, newly purchased relief materials including cotton tents, quilts, folding beds and sleeping bags are being transferred for distribution in disaster-hit areas.

Editor: Fu Peng