A Million Flee South China Floods

BBC News-08:12 GMT, Sunday, 15 June 2008 09:12 UK
A Million Flee South China Floods

Video: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7455239.stm

Flooding in southern China has killed at least 55 people and forced more than one million to flee their homes, the government says.

Torrential downpours have affected nine provinces, China’s civil affairs ministry says. More rain is expected in the coming days, forecasters warn.

Among those provinces badly hit is Sichuan, which is still reeling from last month’s massive earthquake.

Some 87,000 people were killed or missing after the 12 May earthquake.

Farm land submerged

China’s civil affairs ministry says nearly 1.3 million people have now fled their homes in the hardest hit regions as the bad weather continues.

Television showed boats cruising city streets, homeowners trying to bale out their home and rescuers handing out supplies of bottled water.

The flooding has submerged large areas of farm land and destroyed 6,600 homes in Guangdong and Jiangxi provinces, the official Xinhua news agency reports.

It says that many roads throughout the affected areas have been covered by landslides.

The flooding in the Pearl river delta is the worst for 50 years, forcing the Guangdong government to issue an emergency flood alert throughout the province, Xinhua says.

China ‘s rainy season causes chaos every year, often leaving many dead and forcing millions to leave their homes.

In the past, the Chinese authorities have warned that climate change may make the problem worse, the BBC’s Daniel Griffiths in Beijing says.

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