By Mahmut Atanur
BEIJING (AA): Weeks of heavy rainfall and flooding have left more than 230 people dead in China while 93 others remain missing, state media reported Friday.
At least 237 fatalities were recorded after more than 1,508 counties in 28 provinces — the hardest-hit located in the country’s center and southeast — suffered from flooding since mid-June.
The China Daily cited a spokesman for the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters as saying that authorities would “prepare for the worst and strive for the best”.
“Although the water levels in middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River are slowly dropping, most are still above warning levels,” Zhang Jiatuan told reporters Thursday.
He revealed that around 147,200 houses were destroyed, more than 5.46 million hectares of farmland flooded, with direct economic losses recorded at 147 billion yuan ($22 billion).
Zhang described conditions as “still quite critical” with central and eastern China forecast to experience heavy rain in coming days, and underlined that “the possibility of flooding in northern rivers can not be ruled out” during the rainy season.
More than 23,000 soldiers have been deployed in the provinces of Anhui, Jiangxi, Fujian and Jiangsu.
Meanwhile, local authorities in Fujian said 69 people were confirmed dead and six others remained missing after a tropical storm, Nepartak, made landfall last Saturday.
[Photo: People are seen on a boat after a heavy rainfall caused flood in Wuhan, China on July 6, 2016.Transport links and water and power supplies in Wuhan are severely affected, and some are trapped in their homes. Photographer: Stringer/AA]