BEIJING, June 19 (Xinhua) -- China's disaster relief departments raised the emergency response to level-three from level-four Saturday morning for the floods that have hit southern China, as authorities forecast more rain to fall over coming days.
|Soldiers transfer an old man trapped by the flood water at Songxi Town of Qingliu County, |
southeast China's Fujian Province, June 18, 2010.(Xinhua/Lu Lijie)
The Civil Affairs Ministry and the State Disaster Relief Commission made the decision.
As of 10:00 a.m. Saturday, downpours that began pounding southern China Sunday had left 88 people dead, 48 missing, and forced the evacuation of 757,000 residents from their homes, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a statement.
About 9.27 million people in Fujian, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Guizhou and Sichuan were affected by the heavy rains, the ministry said.
Direct economic losses caused by the heavy rains have topped 10 billion yuan (about 1.46 billion U.S. dollars).
The State Council has dispatched work teams to the floods-affected areas in Fujian to guide the disaster relief work. The team is being led by Vice Civil Affairs Minister Sun Shaocheng and consists of officials from seven ministries.
Also on Saturday, the National Meteorological Center reiterated the rainstorm orange alert - the second-highest level - it issued Friday, warning that more rains and very possibly heavy rainstorms are likely to hit southern China over coming days.