BEIJING (Reuters) - Flooding and landslides caused by heavy rain have killed 53 people in China’s southwestern Guangxi region since late May, including three children swept away as they walked home from school, state media reported on Monday.
The death toll was announced after rescuers found nearly 20 bodies in the aftermath of torrential rains between May 31 and June 2, the local flood control office said.
The three dead children, missing since finishing school on June 1, were aged between 8 and 11. Their parents had left to work in cities, so they were walking unaccompanied to their grandparents’ home.
The three-day spell of extreme weather destroyed 11,000 homes and forced 200,000 people to evacuate, state news agency Xinhua reported. It also destroyed 15 reservoirs and thousands of irrigation networks.
More heavy rain is expected to hit Guangxi again this week, weather forecasters said.
The flooding followed several months of severe drought across the region, the worst in a century, affecting 50 million people.
Reporting by Liu Zhen and Emma Graham-Harrison; Editing by Ken Wills and Ron Popeski