Southern China flooding kills 57
Massive flooding across a broad stretch of southern China killed almost 60 people and forced 1.3 million others from their homes, state media reported Monday, reported CNN.
Cars run on a flooded road Sunday in Chongqing Municipality, China.
People were forced to flee their homes across nine provinces, including Sichuan, still reeling from last month's earthquake that killed nearly 70,000 people, the official Xinhua News Agency said. At least 57 people died and eight were missing, Xinhua reported.
Heavy rain is expected to pummel the southern region over the next few days, said a spokesman at the China Meteorological Administration who refused to give his name, which is customary.
Water levels on the swollen Wujiang River in Guangdong province rose to nearly 79 feet, far surpassing the "dangerous level" of 20 feet, he said.
Heavy rain in Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces will further raise water levels downstream, especially in the coastal manufacturing powerhouse of Guangdong, Xinhua reported. Most of those areas are expected to receive more heavy rain over the next 10 days.
The worst-hit province was Guangdong, where 20 people died and eight were missing, and nearly 5.8 million people in 17 cities were affected, Xinhua said.
Streets and houses along the Xijiang River in Guangdong were submerged in the worst flooding to hit the Pearl River Delta region in 50 years, the official China Daily newspaper said.
"A major flood is feared if rain continues," Huang Boqing, deputy director of the Guangdong flood control and drought relief headquarters, was quoted as saying.
Vegetable prices in Guangdong have risen by 70 percent in four cities including Guangzhou, the paper said.
Economic losses have reached $1.5 billion because of the floods, it said. More than 45,000 houses collapsed and 140,000 had been damaged.