Tag Archives: Hunan

Deadly Rains Continue To Wreak Havoc

The monsoon rains that have inundated several central and southern provinces this month have brought the most severe flooding that Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan and Guizhou have suffered in half a century. Official figures put the death toll in June at at least 235 with a further 119 unaccounted for. At least 379 people have died as a result of flooding so far this year, the deadliest toll since 1998 when 3,600 died as a result of the rains.

On Monday, at least 107 people were buried by a rain-triggered landslide in Guizhou. In all more than 29 million people have been affected, with one in 10 those having to be evacuated from their homes. The economic cost is put at upwards of 82 billion yuan ($12 billion). Emergency relief efforts and fortification of riverbanks continues, as does the torrential rain with more in the forecast.

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Death Toll From Southern Rains Rising

The death toll from the rains inundating the south has risen to at least 175, Xinhua reports, with a further 107 unaccounted for.  Approaching 2 million people have been evacuated and relief and rescue efforts are struggling to keep up with rivers in Fujian, Jiangxi and Hunan swelling and more rains in the forecast, though the rainstorm alert has been lowered from orange to blue, the lowest level. The flooding and landslides caused by the torrential rain have washed away roads, rail and power lines, and affected more than 25 million people, causing 29.6 billion yuan ($4.3 billion) in estimated economic losses, according to the  Civil Affairs Ministry.

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No Let Up To Rainy Season As Death Toll Mounts

More heavy rain is expected in in the already inundated southern provinces, raising fears of more loss of life from mudslides and flash flooding particularly in Fujian, Hunan and Guangxi. At least 35 people have died and 49 are missing following this week’s seasonal downpours. In Sichuan on Tuesday, 23 people died when a landslide cascaded down a mountain into dormitory tents on a construction site. Across western and southern China, more than 100,000 have been evacuated from their homes, Xinhua reports. In all, more than 150 people have died so far as a result of this year’s rainy season.

Update: More than 2.5 million people across six southern provinces have been affected by this week’s rain and 238,000 had been evacuated from their homes, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Thursday, adding that more than 33,000 homes had collapsed or been damaged. The known death toll has risen to 46.

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Third Toxic Smelter Closed

The smelter scandal is starting to echo last year’s melamine-tainted infant formula in that it is spreading out of control. A third plant within a month is being closed because children living near it are falling ill. In this case it is a manganese smelter in Wenping in Hunan. More than 1,300 local children are suffering from lead poisoning. Two executives from the plant have been detained, Xinhua reports, though its general manager seems to have fled.

State media say the plant has been running for more than three months without environmental approvals. A kindergarten, primary school and middle school are within 500 metres of the smelter. As with the Dongling smelter in Shaanxi, parents in Wenping have been staging violent protests, China Daily reports, blocking roads and upending a police car. Meanwhile South China Morning Post reports that another toxic smelter in Hunan has also been closed for causing lead poisoning.

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