July 25, 2016 7:12:33 pm
Heavy floods in China have left nearly 300 people dead or missing and caused huge economic losses, prompting the army to deploy 59,000 troops for relief and rescue operation.
Rain affected more than 14.76 million people in 10 provincial-level regions, including the hardest hit provinces of Henan and Hebei, forcing the relocation of 5.14 lakh people.
Nearly 1.25 lakh people are in urgent need of basic living assistance, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Some 1.26 lakh houses collapsed and 3.44 lakh houses were damaged to varying degrees. Floods also affected 1.18 million hectares of crops. Total direct economic losses were estimated at 31.14 billion yuan (USD 4.7 billion).
The Chinese army has deployed 59,000 troops to help with relief and rescue, the report said.
Wang Qilong of the Chinese Armed Police Force (CAPF) headquarters said 16 CAPF corps, seven divisions and other troops joined the work, using 590 inflatable motor launches.
Armed police have worked on over 375 km of dikes, repaired almost 1,000 km of roads and dredged over 80 km of river courses, it said.
Also four officials from the province were suspended from their posts for dereliction of duty in coping with deadly floods.
As many as 289 people have been killed or missing, authorities said.
Public outrage mounted as many questioned why they were not informed of the impending floods, and complained the officials failed to organise evacuation before the flood crested.
The four officials included two Communist Party of China (CPC) officials in Xingtai city, a chief engineer of Shijiazhuang municipal bureau of transport, and a deputy head of Jingxing County, according to a decision made by the Hebei Provincial Committee of the CPC.
Heavy rain since last Monday has battered 71 county-level cities in Henan, and Anyang was the one of the worst-hit areas.
Nearly two lakh people had been relocated so far.
In rural areas, about 1,500 km of roads were flooded and 56 bridges were damaged.
In the city, about 70 square meters of land were waterlogged, nine electrical pump stations were damaged, and 20 residential communities were affected.
The city has mobilised 3.16 lakh people.
So far, over 210 km of roads and more than 570 pieces of electrical equipment have been repaired, the report said.
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