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Floods leave 2 missing, 33,000 evacuated in Hainan

10-06-2010 10:22 BJT

HAIKOU, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- At least two people were missing and nearly 33,000 evacuated as floods wreaked havoc in China's southernmost island province of Hainan, local authorities said Tuesday.

Local fire fighters transfer residents in rain in Qionghai, south China's Hainan
Province, Oct. 5, 2010. On-going torrential rains poured over Hainan, causing
Qionghai waterlogged while over 10,000 residents had been transferred to safe
areas.(Xinhua/Meng Zhongde)

Floods inundated more than 100 villages in Qionghai, Lingshui and Wanning, forcing the evacuation of 32,713 residents, the provincial flood control and drought relief office said in a statement.

In Qionghai City, the traffic was paralyzed as its urban areas were inundated in floodwater, it said.

A major highway in the east of Hainan was also flooded and traffic was not expected to resume for at least five days.

Local tourism was hit hard by the floods. China is currently celebrating National Day holidays, a peak travel season.

Further, ten major tourist destinations received about 29,200 visitors on Tuesday, a decline of 42.8 percent year on year, the local tourism administration said.

Hainan Island is famous for tropical tourism and attracts millions of tourists every year.

Torrential rains have battered Hainan for five days. The island received 400 mm of rainfall on average, with some parts recording as high as 700 mm.

The floods also damaged 7,420 hectares of crops and destroyed another 2,260 hectares, according to the provincial civil affair department.

The direct economic loss was estimated at 39.6 million yuan (5.9 million U.S. dollars), with about 17.7 million yuan in agriculture.

A tropical depression in the South China Sea Tuesday afternoon added havoc to Hainan as passenger ship services to the mainland were disrupted.

More than 6,000 passengers and 1,400 cars were stranded at Xiuying port in Haikou, the provincial capital, as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, because of strong winds.

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