Environment & Health SinoBeat

China floods kill 128, with 42 missing, 1.3 million displaced and 40,000 buildings collapsed

Severe flooding across central and southern China over the past week has killed almost 130 people, damaged more than 1.9 million hectares of crops and led to direct economic losses of more than 38 billion yuan (HK$44 billion), state media said on Tuesday.

Premier Li Keqiang travelled on Tuesday to Anhui, one of the hardest-hit provinces, where he met residents and encouraged officials to do everything they could to protect lives and livelihoods. Li was also to visit Hunan province.

shanghai flooding

A resident rows a makeshift boat to make his way at a flooded street in Chaohu, Anhui Province, China, July 2, 2016. Picture taken July 2, 2016. Photo: China Daily/Reuters.

Heavy rainfall had killed 128 people across 11 provinces and regions and 42 people are missing, state news agency Xinhua reported.

More than 1.3 million people have been forced out of their homes, it said.

shanghai flooding

Photo: Reuters.

Weather forecasts predicted more downpours during what is traditionally China’s flood season.

Xinhua said more than 1.9 million hectares (4.7 million acres) of cropland had been damaged and another 295,000 hectares had been destroyed, resulting in direct economic losses of 38.2 billion yuan.

More than 40,000 buildings have also collapsed, it added.

shanghai flooding

Photo: Reuters.

It was not clear how that would affect the summer grain harvest, which was expected to reach 140 million tonnes this year.

The stormy weather also took a toll on farm animals.

In Anhui, the flooding killed some 7,100 hogs, 215 bulls and 5.14 million fowl, the China News Service reported.

shanghai flooding

Rescuers take a boat to check around at a flooded road in Shucheng, Anhui Province, China, July 3, 2016. Photo: Stringer/Reuters.

In the southern province of Hunan, torrential rain and flooding had forced more than 100 trains to stop or take detours since midnight on Sunday, Xinhua reported.

In one city, about 3 tonnes of gasoline and diesel leaked from a petrol station on Monday, contaminating floodwater that flowed into a river, it said.

pig farm shanghai

An employee wipes away tears as he walks through a flooded farm, where pigs cannot be moved away from due to an environmental protection and epidemic prevention measure, before he leaves for safer place in Liu’an, Anhui Province. Photo: Reuters/Stringer.

Water in 43 rivers in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River had exceeded warning levels and patrols were monitoring dykes, Xinhua quoted Chen Guiya, an official with the Yangtze River Water Resources Commission, as saying.

Reporting by John Ruwitch; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Paul Tait, Robert Birsel.

China floods kill 128, with 42 missing, 1.3 million displaced and 40,000 buildings collapsed