UPDATE - Flash floods create havoc in southwestern China, death toll rises to 33

UPDATE - Flash floods create havoc in southwestern China, death toll rises to 33

Heavy rain, flooding in aftermath of recent Typhoon Doksuri causes immense damage, claims several lives, leaving many others missing


By Riyaz ul Khaliq and Necva Tastan

ISTANBUL (AA) - At least seven people died on Wednesday due to flashfloods in southwestern China, officials said.

"Four (missing people) have been rescued, while seven have already been confirmed dead," broadcaster CGTN reported on the flashfloods that hit Ya'an city in Sichuan province.

Search and rescue efforts are underway.

Meanwhile, the death toll due to heavy rains and floods in the capital Beijing has climbed to 33, authorities announced.

As it made landfall in China late last month, Typhoon Doksuri brought heavy winds and rains, triggering flooding in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Officials in Beijing said 18 people were missing as of Aug. 2 since the downpour began on July 29.

Over 374,000 people in northeast China's Heilongjiang province were affected by the recent typhoon-related rainstorms, with over 187,000 being relocated to safer places within the province, according to the Beijing-based People’s Daily reported.

The rains and floods have also caused heavy damage, with authorities releasing millions of dollars to mitigate the suffering.

The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Water Resources also allocated 1 billion yuan ($139.69 million) to local governments in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, and Heilongjiang in northern China, as well as coastal provinces Zhejiang and Fujian in the country's east for "urgent agricultural flood control and disaster relief work, and to support post-disaster agricultural production," according to the CGTN.

"No effort should be spared in searching for the missing and minimizing casualties. Basic livelihoods of the affected people must be guaranteed, including enough food and clothing, temporary shelters, clean water, and timely medical treatment," Chinese Premier Li Qiang told the country's State Council on Tuesday.

"Given possible typhoons in the future and subsequent downpours, there will still be a hard fight against disasters," the meeting noted.

Earlier, China's Ministry of Emergency Management said natural disasters had impacted nearly 16 million people and resulted in 147 fatalities in July alone.

During the same period, 703,000 people were urgently relocated and resettled due to the calamities.

The disasters also caused the collapse of 4,300 houses, severe damage to 8,400, and minor damage to 40,000.

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