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Floods kill 29 in China's northeast

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 30, 2010
At least 29 people have been killed and seven are missing after floodwaters swept through northeast China, state media said Thursday, as the death toll from the worst floods in years neared 1,000.

More than 254,000 people were evacuated and 21,875 buildings collapsed in the floods in Jilin province, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting a statement from the civil affairs department released late Thursday.

Torrential rains have cut water, electricity and telecommunications services in parts of worst-hit Yongji county were 27 people died, Xinhua said.

Train services were suspended in the town of Kouqian after the railway station was surrounded by flood waters and two freight carriages were swept from the tracks, it said.

Floods as high as three metres (10 feet) in some places submerged factories and houses as residents tried to escape to higher buildings.

"I heard people crying 'flood, flood'. My son, daughter-in-law and I immediately rushed to the second floor," Gao Xiuying, a resident of Kouqian, told the news agency.

"From the second floor, we saw chairs, desks even cars tumbling in water. Everything happened within just one minute."

Water levels had now fallen to about one metre, Xinhua reported.

Elsewhere in Jilin, hundreds of workers were scrambling to recover 3,000 barrels full of explosive chemicals that were washed by flood waters into the Songhua River, a major waterway.

Water supplies to the nearby city of Jilin were temporarily cut after the incident on Wednesday, leaving 4.3 million people dependent on bottled water.

A total of 7,000 barrels were washed into the river, with 2,500 containing the chemical trimethyl chloro silicane -- a highly explosive, colorless liquid -- while 500 contained the compound hexamethyl disilazane, Xinhua said.

At least 400 barrels had been recovered on Thursday, Jilin city officials told Xinhua.

Jilin is the latest province to have been hit by recent deadly floods that have killed more than 300 people since July 14 and left another 300 missing, according to the latest official figures.

Until now, torrential rains have mostly hit China's south, swelling the Yangtze River -- the nation's longest waterway -- and some of its tributaries to dangerous levels.

The worst floods in a decade have left 984 dead and 508 missing since the beginning of the year and caused more than 26 billion dollars in damage, latest official figures show, and authorities have warned of more to come.

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More than 30,000 trapped by floods in China's northeast
Beijing (AFP) July 28, 2010
More than 30,000 people are thought to be trapped by floodwaters in a town in northeast China, state media said Wednesday, as torrential rain that has killed over 300 in two weeks continues. China is struggling with its worst flooding in a decade tat has left 1,405 dead or missing since the beginning of the year and caused at least 26 billion dollars in damage, and authorities have warned of ... read more

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