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Death toll from SW China flooding rises to 23, 30 still missing

07-19-2010 08:36 BJT

CHENGDU, July 18 (Xinhua) -- At least 23 people have been killed and 30 are still missing as of Sunday evening after the worst rainstorm of the year lashed southwest China's Sichuan Province late Friday, the provincial civil affairs department said.

More than 586,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes as torrential rains pounded 62 counties and cities in the province and triggered mountain torrents, landslides and house collapses, cutting off roads, electricity and communications in some regions.

Photo taken on July 17 shows the trail of damage in Dazhou, southwest China's Sichuan Province Friday, which is hit by rainstorm.(Xinhua File Photo)
Photo taken on July 17 shows the trail of damage in Dazhou, southwest China's Sichuan
Province Friday, which is hit by rainstorm.(Xinhua File Photo)

Half of the worst-hit Quxian County remains flooded, with water levels of up to 10 meters deep. The county is cut off from the outside world, with roads and railways flooded by waters, according to a spokesman with the department.

"We can only see the roofs of most riverside houses in Qujiang Town and Jubei Town," said Deng Yuhua, secretary of the county's Party committee.

Further, rains are still pelting eastern parts of the province, which will probably aggravate the situation, said the spokesman.

Flooding is forecasted to peak in Guang'an City, at the lower reaches of Qujiang River, on Monday.

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