Flood Deaths Rise to 78 in Central China

( [email protected] ) Aug 03, 2007 06:23 AM EDT
State media on Friday reported that 78 people are dead and 18 missing in China’s central province of Henan.
Local residents trapped during a flood are moved to a safe area in Tongzi county, southwest China's Guizhou province July 30, 2007. Deaths from floods, lightning and landslides across China this summer have reached nearly 700, state media said on Monday, with experts warning that global warming is likely to fuel more violent weather. (Photo: Reuters/China Daily)

State media on Friday reported that 78 people are dead and 18 missing in China’s central province of Henan.

The three-day downpour a week earlier has triggered flash floods that damaged transportation, power and communication facilities in ten Henan townships, reported state-owned Xinhua news agency.

More than 6,000 houses and 6,667 hectares (1.64 million acres) of farmland have been destroyed.

Earlier on Wednesday, Xinhua reported the deaths of 23 people from the flood.

A National Crisis

Summer floods, landslides and lightning-strikes throughout China have so far claimed over 700 lives. In 2005, more than 1,000 people died in the nation’s annual flood season. An additional 4,185 people drowned in 1998.

In Shanxian county, central China's Henan Province, 69 miners were rescue after being trapped for more than 50 hours when floods swamped a coal mine on Sunday morning.

A total of 21 people have been confirmed died and 18 are still missing, according to the most recent press release from Shaanxi Province.

Local paramilitary and emergency-rescue personnel mounted relief efforts including moving refugees to higher-ground.

World Vision China is current at work in the hardest hit counties of Shou and Fentai in Anhui Province.

An assessment team of four people have visited several villages by boat, carrying with them relief supplies and child-friendly kits to victims.

The floods turned the entire land space into a giant sea. It is estimated that flood waters will not recede in the region until after two months.

In other locations – including Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan and Sichuan – World Vision has been distributing 1,075,875 kg of rice with a total of 71,725 beneficiaries.

Efforts to reach flood areas have been severely hampered by continual rain which has destroyed road networks and communication lines.

Thousands of people have since then been evacuated from their homes, causing a major humanitarian crisis in the nation of 1.3 billion.