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Countries, UN offer condolences to China over deadly mudslides

08-11-2010 14:03 BJT Special Report:China Fights Worst Flood in Decades |

BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations and countries including Japan, the United States, Canada, Germany and Mexico have offered condolences to those affected by deadly floods and mudslides in China.

"The secretary-general is saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the severe flooding that has affected considerable portions of China. He extends his deepest condolences to the families of those who have died or been injured or lost their homes and possessions," said a statement issued by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman on Tuesday.

"The secretary-general is aware of the tremendous efforts being undertaken by the government of China to evacuate people out of harm's way, to carry out search and rescue operations, and to respond to needs arising from this situation," the statement said. "He reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations to assist in any way in this effort should it be required."

Landslides hit the Zhouqu County in China's northwestern province of Gansu early Sunday morning following torrential rain overnight, burying houses and crushing buildings in their way.

The death toll from the mudslides has risen to 702, with 1,042 others still missing, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Tuesday.

Heavy floods have also caused deaths and devastation in northeastern province of Jilin and the southern parts of the country over the past two months. China has been swiftly mobilizing relief efforts. The People's Liberation Army has dispatched 5,300 soldiers to Zhouqu.

U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton on Tuesday also offered condolences over the flooding and mudslides in China.

"I join the American people in expressing our deep regret over the loss of life and devastation wrought by recent flooding in south and central China and by the mudslides in Gansu Province this past weekend," Clinton said in a statement.

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