June 10, 2011 / 6:15 AM / 8 years ago

China floods kill 34 in drought-hit provinces

BEIJING, June 10 (Reuters) - Torrential rains in two drought-stricken central China provinces have triggered landslides and brought down houses, killing at least 34 people and leaving 30 missing, state media said on Friday.

More than 60,000 people were evacuated after downpours hit Xianning city in Hubei province late on Thursday, the China News Service said, killing 19 and leaving five missing as water levels in the city rose to two metres.

In Yueyang in nearby Hunan province, 15 people were killed and 25 were missing, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The two provinces were among the worst hit by a severe drought in recent months that hit millions of hectares of farmland in central and southern China along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze river.

The drought damaged crops and exacerbated a power shortage by cutting power generation from dams, adding a slight bump to near three-year high consumer inflation.

But the drought ended last weekend with the rains that have brought deadly floods, so far killing close to 100 people in 12 provinces.

In eastern Jiangxi province, 1,200 people remain stranded by floods after heavy rain fell on the northern part of the province on Thursday, China News Service said in a separate report. (Reporting by Sally Huang and Michael Martina; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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