Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Quake-hit China now menaced by floods and landslides

BEIJING-Floods triggered by torrential rains have killed dozens of people across China, as officials struggle to move thousands of victims of last month's earthquake to escape the threat of landslides caused by downpours.Already reeling from the May 12 quake centered on southwest Sichuan province that killed more than 70,000 people, floods in southern China have killed at least 57 people in recent days and forced 1.27 million to move to safer ground, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.The floods have been especially heavy in southern Guangdong province, home to many of the country's export businesses.By Sunday, 20 people in Guangdong had died in the floods, eight were missing, and more than 4,800 houses had collapsed, provincial flood officials told Xinhua.Nearly 240,000 Guangdong residents were shifted to safer ground, including 60,000 in Shenzhen, the trade hub next to Hong Kong, the provincial water resources office said, according to the official Southern Daily.State television showed footage of buildings submerged up to their second floors and troops rescuing stranded residents with boats on streets-turned-canals."Many factories were soaked since the heavy rain started last Thursday," said Feng Fei, an office worker at an insurance company in Dongguan, a manufacturing hub north of Shenzhen.
"My company is not big, but we probably have to pay as many as 10 million yuan ($1.45 million) for about 200 cars damaged by the floods," Feng told Reuters by telephone, referring to insurance settlements.
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As in the days of Noah....

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