At least 201 killed in July-August China flooding

BEIJING (AP) — At least 201 people have been killed and 63 are missing following flooding across China in July and August, according to government rescue services.

The most recent deaths came in mountainous western Sichuan province, where eight were killed and 23 missing as of yesterday morning. Earlier in August, 39 were killed and nine left missing by Typhoon Lekima.

The total for July was 154 killed and 31 missing, with over 1.3 million people forced to seek temporary shelter.

Annual floods rank among China’s most destructive natural disasters, brought on by seasonal rains and worsened by human encroachment into mountain areas and natural river systems.

China’s worst flooding in recent years came in 1998, when over 3,700 died in floods along the Yangtze, Songhua, Pearl and Nen rivers.

Landslides have also killed dozens this year, with two killed and seven other people missing after slides hit in western Sichuan, where communications and power were cut off. Earlier this month, 17 railway workers were killed in a landslide in Sichuan province while seeking to repair tracks damaged by an earlier landslide.

Rescuers search for victims of a landslide triggered by Typhoon Lekima in Yongjia county in eastern China’s Zhejiang province. – PHOTO: AP