Over 20 dead, missing in south China rainstorms

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BEIJING: More than 20 people were killed or remain missing after torrential downpours unleashed floods in south China.
The rain-triggered floods had affected some 2.63 million people in 11 provincial-level regions as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, the Ministry of Emergency Management said.
The heavy rain forced the relocation of about 228,000 people, destroyed over 1,300 houses and brought direct economic losses of over 4 billion yuan (about 566 million U.S. dollars), the ministry said. In Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China, six people were killed and one is missing after days of downpours. Over 1 million people have been affected by the floods, including 147,900 who were relocated to safe areas, the regional flood control and drought relief headquarters said Tuesday.
The extreme weather has hit the region’s tourism hard, which is still reeling from the COVID-19 epidemic.
In Yangshuo, a popular tourist destination known for its karst mountains and river sights, streets were waterlogged after a sudden flood, forcing residents and tourists to be evacuated on bamboo rafts. The county government of Yangshuo said more than 1,000 hotels and family inns and 5,000 shops have been flooded. Over 30 tourist sites were damaged.
“Our losses are estimated at 3 million yuan, but it’s a relief that none of our guests were harmed,” said Zhang Ting, owner of a family inn whose rooms were submerged in 1 meter of rainwater on Sunday.
Reporters at the site said firefighters, police officers and other rescuers stayed after the floods subsided to help clean debris and disinfect public facilities.
In central Hunan Province, seven people had been killed and one remained missing as of Tuesday.
Authorities said 321,000 people were affected in 21 counties and cities of Hunan, and 11,000 residents were relocated and received assistance.
In Guizhou Province in southwest China, intense rain has left eight people missing or dead, the local emergency response department said, adding that 2,800 people were relocated.
The rain and flooding also damaged 10,700 hectares of crops and damaged more than 2,800 houses in the mountainous province, according to the department.
Since June 2, downpours have hit large parts of south China, bringing accumulated precipitation of 100 to 300 mm in some regions.
Affected by the rainstorms, 110 rivers in eight provincial-level regions have seen water levels exceed the warning line, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management. – Agencies