Floods Leave 13 Dead and 3 Missing in Northern China

A total of 13 people have died and 445,500 have been affected by floods triggered by heavy rains in the east of Inner Mongolia autonomous region in northern China, said the local authorities on Sunday.

Several consecutive days of heavy rain caused flooding in 23 counties of the region, killing 12 people, while another person died from the lightning.

The torrential rainfall in the area and the subsequent disasters have caused economic losses of 1,400 billion yuan (21.7 million).

More than 8,000 houses were damaged, of which 3300 have collapsed, and over 2,500 head of cattle perished, while more than 70,000 hectares of crops were ruined, reported the regional office of flood control and drought relief.

In addition, rains have caused the rupture of 23.83 km of dikes, cut the electricity supply, disrupted road and rail transport.

The weather forecast for the region provides an average rainfall of between 50 and 150 mm for the period from July 29 to August 2. Some areas would experience rainfall of more than 150 millimeters, the source said.

The storms have also flooded the city of Hanzhong in Shaanxi province of north China from Thursday, affecting 113,000 people, leaving three others missing and forcing the evacuation of 9390 people.

More than 2,800 houses collapsed and others 7800 were damaged, while 4,000 hectares of crops were lost.

In addition, torrential rains have rushed a surveillance point of a nature reserve where three guards disappeared and are being sought by rescue teams, local authorities said.

On Thursday night, a rain-swollen river flooded a town of 1,000 years of history north of Hanzhong, after the rainfall reached 106 mm.

The Huayang village, well preserved since the Song Dynasty (960-1276), was forced to close to tourists after two of its bridges were destroyed in the floods. Local authorities estimate that economic losses could reach 200 million yuan.