90 dead in southern China flooding; 1.4M evacuated may co nhan vien trong cty a noi vay

The death toll from flooding this week in southern China rose to 90 Saturday, and 1.4 million people were evacuated as the inundated region prepared for more heavy storms.

Fifty people were also missing in nine provinces and regions across China's south, the state flood control office said. Water levels have surged passed safe levels in dozens of rivers, including the Pearl River in the heart of China's manufacturing region.

As of 8 a.m. Saturday, 5.5 million people had been affected by flooding, the office said.

Its deputy director said more than 1.4 million residents had been moved from low-lying areas since Thursday, the China Daily newspaper reported.

In this Friday, June 18, 2010 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, soldiers transfer an old woman trapped by the flood water at Songxi Town of Qingliu County, southeast China's Fujian Province
In this Friday, June 18, 2010 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, soldiers transfer an old woman trapped by the flood water at Songxi Town of Qingliu County, southeast China's Fujian Province

Thirty-five people died in landslides caused by heavy rain, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday. The flood control office told The Associated Press it was not clear if that number was included in the overall death toll.

Xinhua cited local officials and said 25 of the landslide deaths occurred late Friday in the eastern province of Fujian.

The National Meteorological Center warned of heavy rains in the region until Sunday afternoon.

Strong storms have collapsed reservoirs, overflowed rivers, caused landslides and power outages, and damaged highways, the disaster relief agency website said.

China Daily reported nine local officials in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region had been punished for dereliction of duty in flood work, including a reservoir monitor caught playing poker.

China's rainy season, which began in May, follows the worst drought in a century for the southern Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi regions. Drought affected 61 million people, leaving millions without drinking water and 12 million acres (5 million hectares) barren since last year.

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