China braces for more storms; 121 dead or missing this year

BEIJING (AP) — A wide swath of southern China braced yesterday for more seasonal rains and flooding that state media said has already left more than 120 people dead or missing this year.

The National Meteorological Centre raised the weather alert to yellow yesterday morning, the third highest of four warning levels, for more than half a dozen provinces and the cities of Shanghai and Chongqing. Heavy to torrential rains were forecast into this afternoon.

Footage on state broadcaster CCTV showed flooded streets and farmland in Anhui province. To the south in Jiangxi province, more than 8,000 people have been evacuated and 54 houses collapsed after rainstorms in recent days, the network said.

Nationwide, flooding-related disasters have destroyed 17,000 homes, caused CNY41.6 billion (USD5.9 billion) in economic losses and left 121 people dead or missing so far this year, the official People’s Daily newspaper said in a social media post, citing the Ministry of Emergency Management.

The National Meteorological Centre said some parts of Anhui, Hubei, Hunan and Zhejiang provinces could see 10 to 23 centimetres of rain. It also issued a yellow alert for rain in two northeastern provinces, Heilongjiang and Jilin.