World News

Floods kill 50 in China after torrential rains

Slideshow ( 2 images )

BEIJING (Reuters) - Torrential rain in southern and eastern China has killed at least 50 people in the past week and left 4,000 stranded, state media said on Wednesday, a fortnight after a big earthquake rattled Sichuan province.

The poor and remote southwestern province of Guizhou has been hardest hit, with 36 dead and another 14 missing, the official Xinhua news agency said.

“Tents, quilts and clothes have been sent to Wangmo County in Guizhou, which has been severely hit by rain and floods,” it added.

Hunan, Hubei and Guangxi provinces have also been affected, and hundreds of buildings have been buried by landslides and roads cut-off, Xinhua said.

The China Meteorological Administration warned that more rain is expected in eastern and southern China over the next three days, it added.

“The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters issued a warning urging provinces to keep a close watch on the changing weather and act to avert possible danger,” Xinhua said.

The floods occurred as authorities frantically try to drain hundreds of endangered reservoirs and dozens of lakes formed by landslides triggered by the severe earthquake which hit southwest Sichuan province on May 12.

Officials have warned that heavy summer rains could place further pressure on dams, which if breached, would endanger tens of thousands of people in downstream villages.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Jeremy Laurence