BEIJING, July 5 (Xinhua) -- China's flood control authority, the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, on Monday said the level-four emergency response was over, as rainstorms that swept through southern China provinces had finally come to an end.
As of 4 p.m. July 1, persistent rainstorms in the southern provinces of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan, and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, had affected more than 44 million residents, leaving 266 people dead and another 199 missing.
More than 3.8 million people were evacuated and relocated due to floodwater, which destroyed 312,000 homes and resulted in direct economic losses reaching 64.57 billion yuan (about 9.49 billion U.S. dollars).
Earlier reports Monday said another four children, aged from four months to five years old, were killed as their makeshift houses were crushed by the collapse of an empty house in disrepair. Five of their family members were injured.
Days of continuous rains might have triggered the collapse of the empty house, a villager said.
The Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters asked provincial flood control authorities in Jiangxi and Hunan Provinces to check dams to prevent flood risks.
It also urged relevant authorities to repair construction projects damaged by the floods.