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271 killed or missing in China rains, 59k troops sent

Eighteen more bodies were on Monday recovered in flood-hit China, pushing the toll due to heavy torrential rains to 271 killed or missing, prompting the army to mount a massive relief and rescue operation by deploying 59,000 troops.

In the devastation caused by torrential rains, the death toll has gone up to 150 and the number of those missing to 121. Eighteen people were recovered on Monday in China’s Anyang City, Henan Province. The army has deployed 59,000 troops to help with relief and rescue, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Wang Qilong of the Chinese Armed Police Force (CAPF) headquarters said 16 CAPF corps, seven divisions and other troops joined the work, using 590 inflatable motor launches. Armed police have worked on over 375 km of dikes, repaired almost 1,000 km of roads and dredged over 80 km of river courses, it said.

Also four officials from the province were suspended from their posts for dereliction of duty in coping with deadly floods.

The four officials included two Communist Party of China (CPC) officials in Xingtai city, a chief engineer of Shijiazhuang municipal bureau of transport and a deputy head of Jingxing County.

Public outrage mounted as many questioned why they were not informed of the impending floods and complained the officials on failed to organise evacuation before the flood crested. Heavy rain since last Monday has battered 71 county-level cities in Henan, and Anyang was the one of the worst-hit areas.

Nearly 200,000 people had been relocated and the direct economic losses are estimated at 7.2 billion yuan (about USD 1.1 billion), according to the city government.

In rural areas, about 1,500 km of roads were flooded and 56 bridges were damaged. In the city, about 70 square meters of land were waterlogged, nine electrical pump stations were damaged, and 20 residential communities were affected.

The city has mobilised 316,000 people, 5,032 cars, 20 steam boats and 50 water pumps in the rescue work. So far, over 210 km of roads and more than 570 pieces of electrical equipment have been repaired, the report said. 

The meteorological authority on Monday warned that flash floods would likely  follow torrential rain in the northeast and southwest of the country. Parts of Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang and Tibet will likely see floods from Monday night to Tuesday night, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) said.
Rain in these regions will be accompanied by thunder and strong winds in some areas, according to the CMA. 

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