Relaymedia

Rains Blamed for 76 Deaths in China

Jun 14, 2007 07:30 AM EDT
A southern Chinese province was rushing to shore up dams eroded by weeks of heavy rains and high waters that already have killed at least 76 people, state media reported.
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, workers load sandbags to block flood waters at the Zoudong reservoir of Shuikou town, in Xingning city, in south China's Guangdong province, Monday, June 11, 2007.

SHANGHAI, China - A southern Chinese province was rushing to shore up dams eroded by weeks of heavy rains and high waters that already have killed at least 76 people, state media reported Wednesday.

Authorities in Guangdong also have diverted waters from the Hanjiang River into low-lying areas, forcing more than 10,000 people to evacuate inundated villages, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Further downpours are expected through the week, according to local forecasters.

For centuries, China has relied on dams, dikes and reservoirs to control the waters of its rivers, but many were poorly built and are now feared in serious danger of collapse.

Flooding and rain-triggered landslides this year have affected sections of six provinces where more than 13 million people reside. More than 788,000 people have been evacuated to high ground while economic losses have topped $606 million, Xinhua said.

Half of those losses are in agriculture, sending prices for leafy greens and other vegetables soaring by 40 percent in southern cities, Xinhua said.

Further to the north, authorities have warned of potentially disastrous flooding this year in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.