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Renewed China flooding leaves 43 dead

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 12, 2010
Heavy rains along the Yangtze River in central and eastern China have killed 43 people and left 18 missing over the past four days, state media reported on Monday.

The downpours, which have caused major lakes and some Yangtze tributaries to rise alarmingly, come as the region is still recovering from widespread deadly flooding caused by torrential rainfall last month.

Xinhua news agency said the new bout of rainfall had caused nearly 40,000 homes to collapse, flooded nearly a million hectares (2.4 million acres) of crops and led to the evacuation of 755,000 people.

Direct economic losses so far have been put at 10.6 billion yuan (1.57 billion dollars), Xinhua quoted the State Flood Control and Drought Relief headquarters as saying.

It added that 18 million people were "affected" by the rains, but gave no details.

Both Poyang Lake in eastern Jiangxi province and Dongting Lake in Hunan -- two of China's largest inland bodies of water -- were at or near their warning levels, the headquarters said.

Torrential rains and resulting flooding across a wide swathe of southern China in June left hundreds dead, the government has said.

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