Rain floods southern China

BEIJING Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:01am EDT

1 of 4. Villager Yang Aiye carries her daughter as she stands near her house, which was destroyed during a flood, in Lushi county in central China's Henan province, August 12, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Carlf Zhang

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Downpours brought by a fading tropical storm caused widespread flooding in south China, toppling more than 3,600 houses, while in the northeast hundreds were evacuated to avoid landslides, state media said on Monday.

And a clear, sunny day in the capital Beijing ended in a brief, violent storm on Sunday taking everyone by surprise with high winds uprooting several trees, knocking flowerpots off balconies, cutting power in some places and causing flash floods.

Tropical storm Pabuk, which hit Hong Kong on Friday, brought rain southeastern coastal provinces, offering temporary relief to the lingering drought there.

But it also caused floods across the southern province of Guangdong, toppling the houses and "affecting" about 1.2 million people, Xinhua news agency said.

Downpours and rainstorms were recorded in Wenzhou and Taizhou in the eastern province of Zhejiang that have suffered more than 20 days of sweltering heat.

Heavy rains also brought relief to 65,500 people and 30,300 hectares of scorched farmland in Fujian in the southeast.

A drizzly Hong Kong itself was getting back to normal on Monday after a severe storm warning forced markets, schools and ferries public facilities to close early on Friday. overcast here.

The bad weather forced a group of about 30 activists to postpone a boat trip to the Diaoyu islands, held by Japan but disputed by China and Taiwan.

More than 1,100 people had been evacuated to avoid possible landslides after heavy rains hit Dandong, a city in northeast province of Liaoning, Xinhua said.

Mines in two counties under the jurisdiction of Dandong city were ordered to suspend operation, with rain expect all week.

More than 1,000 workers were repairing a railway on China's first cross-strait railway linking Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, to Haikou on the island province of Hainan.

The railway was destroyed by torrential currents which inundated the rail-bed and distorted rails.

Three more tropical storms are expected to form in coming days, threatening China and neighboring Taiwan.

The tropical storms, as opposed to full-fledged typhoons, come at the tail-end of a summer in which a series of natural disasters in China has killed nearly 1,000 people in floods, landslides and house collapses.

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