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More than 600 killed, millions impacted by Yangtze flooding

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 14, 2007
Floods and other disasters killed at least 600 people in China's Yangtze River basin during this year's May-October rainy season, when serious flooding ravaged much of the nation, state media reported.

The disasters affected about 90 million people along the country's longest river and destroyed 440,000 houses, Xinhua news agency said in a report late Tuesday.

The events caused direct economic losses of 43 billion yuan (5.7 billion dollars), it said, quoting a report by the official Yangtze River Water Resources Commission.

The report said no serious flooding occurred along the river itself but that frequent extreme weather events ravaged nearby areas.

China's massive Three Gorges Dam on the river's middle reaches was built partly to control the annual floods that have long plagued Yangtze communities.

The report did not specify the "other disasters" but officials have reported frequent landslides along the river's banks, believed caused by the growing reservoir behind the dam, the world's largest hydro-electric project.

At least 1,100 people died across the country this summer from flooding and other extreme weather, according to previously released official figures, which some state meteorologists attributed to climate change.

Several areas of the nation suffered record-breaking downpours.

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India issues alert over severe cyclone in Bay of Bengal
Bhubaneswar, India (AFP) Nov 13, 2007
A severe cyclone over the Bay of Bengal has prompted an alert in India's southeastern coastal state of Orissa, where it is forecast to make landfall, weather officials said Tuesday.

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