China: floods leave 57 dead


In this picture taken on September 19, 2011, a rescue team evacuates a family trapped in Guangan in southwest China's Sichuan province.



Flooding across China has claimed 57 lives as more than a million people are evacuated from their homes.

Heavy record rains for more than a week have swamped several provinces in northern, central and southwest China, also injuring dozens of people, Newscore reports.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a statement that the rain had forced authorities to evacuate more than 1.2 million people from their homes, BBC reports.

Landslides and mudslides have toppled homes and blocked roads in the area, and the National Meteorological Center forecast that the torrential rains that caused them will last for another three days, AFP reports.

"Constant strong rainfall has caused serious flood disasters in Sichuan [southwest], Shaanxi [north] and Henan [central] - 12.3 million people were affected, 57 died and 29 are missing," it said.

One area of the southwestern province of Sichuan, Bazhong, was severely affected, with 13 people killed, 10 missing and 156 injured, a spokesman for the local government told the official China Daily newspaper.

Parts of China's longest river, the Yangtze, recorded reaching seven meters above dangerous levels and was expected to rise to the highest level since 1847, the Herald Sun reports.

Last year saw China's worst flooding in a decade, leaving more than 4300 people dead or missing.

The floods have caused nearly $3 million in damage and submerged 29,000 houses across the three provinces, according to China's Ministry of Civil Affairs.