posted this on 02/23/2011
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12000 evacuated as floods wreck havoc in SW China
Posted by TwitC
Hundreds perish in China's biggest floods in years. In the first two weeks of July alone, nearly 150 people perished as torrential rains deluged the nation. The unrelenting precipitation continues to cause devastation as homes are swept away, crops destroyed, and transport, power, and telecommunication facilities damaged by floods and landslides. In Sichuan Province, the city of Guang'an is facing its worst floods since 1847, affecting over 250,000 people, while throughout the province another 26 people have succumbed to recent floods and landslides with more than 40 missing. Over 1.6 million people have been affected in Shaanxi province, where another 41 have lost their lives and 107 others were missing as of Tuesday, July 20. There, more than 27,000 homes were destroyed and 101,000 hectares of farmland affected as well. Meanwhile, the flood control system of Three Gorges dam, the world's largest hydropower project, is being put to the test as waters swell to their highest level ever. Upstream from the dam, Chongqing municipality has implemented an emergency flood plan, with officials planning to evacuate over 16,000 people after already having asked 16,000 residents to leave for their safety the previous weekend. With officials and residents in many areas on high alert as rivers and tributaries rise, some 630,000 people are working to alleviate floods in Yangtze River provinces, including Hubei, Anhui and Hunan, where 9.2 million residents have been affected and another 44 fatalities and 95 people missing were reported on Monday. The central government has meanwhile allocated US$55 million in initial relief funds to nine flood-afflicted southern provinces, while personnel continue working tirelessly to carry out search and rescue operations.