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Death toll soars to 273 in July floods in China

07-22-2010 08:47 BJT Special Report:Rainstorm Batters Large Parts of China |

BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Rain-triggered floods left 273 people dead and 218 missing since rainstorms struck south China on July 1, latest figures from the Ministry of Civil Affairs show; up from the 146 deaths reported on July 16.

As of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, about 58 million people in 11 provinces and Chongqing Municipality had been affected by the floods, with 3 million being evacuated and resettled, according to a statement released Wednesday by the ministry.

A total of 330,000 homes and some 4 million hectares of crops have also been destroyed.

Also, economic losses were estimated at about 58.27 billion yuan (8.53 billion U.S. dollars), the statement said.

Additionally on Wednesday, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Civil Affairs earmarked 329 million yuan for disaster relief in the flood-hit provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi, Jiangxi and Hubei and the municipality of Chongqing.

The funds will be used for the evacuation and resettlement efforts, reconstruction and death gratuities, said the statement.

The previous relief funds of 370 million yuan was allocated to the provinces of Anhui, Hubei, Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan, and Chongqing Municipality on July 16.

Also on Wednesday, the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee allocated 5.5 million yuan "special membership fees" for disaster relief in the provinces of Hubei, Anhui, Zhejiang, Yunnan and the municipality of Chongqing.

Earlier Wednesday, the Chinese government revealed that torrential rains and floods, the worst in a decade, have claimed the lives of 701 people and left 347 missing in China since the beginning of the year.

Liu Ning, vice minister of Water Resources, warned that floods, mud-flooding and landslides would likely continue to plague some areas in Hainan, Guangdong, and Guangxi with landfall of a severe tropical storm, named Chanthu, on Thursday.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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