06/21/2010, 00.00
CHINA
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Floods bring South China to its knees, 197 dead and 93 missing

Currently over one million people evacuated in the regions of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Henan, and Guangxi. According to the National Meteorological Centre in the coming days, the rainfall could reach 200 mm, worsening the effect of flooding. Expected damages up to 1.7 billion euros.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) -  The toll stands at 147 dead and 93 missing from severe flooding that has in recent days brought the regions of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Henan, and Guangxi and other areas in southern China to their knees, with over a million people evacuated. According to the National Weather Service in the coming days the amount of rainfall could increase up to 200 mm, making worsening of floods with damage up to 1, 7 billion.

Over the weekend Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the city of Wuzhou (Guangxi), among the hardest hit by torrential rain, to see for himself the situation and monitor relief operations. In a press conference the prime minister promised new funding for flood victims and designated the security of the surviving population a priority, in desperate need of clean water, food and clothes.

According to the South China Morning Post, Wen, famous for being called "the People’s Premier”, has lost no opportunity to be photographed while helping rescue teams, or while consoling an old woman who lost family because of floods .

The situation is different in Xinjiang, another region affected by the floods. Here, the police arrested a group of 12 ethnic Uyghurs for helping flood victims accusing them of disturbing public order and asking authorities too many questions.

Meanwhile, torrential rains have also knocked out rail links with coastal regions and the capital, destroying dozens of trains. On Saturday, 18 lines from Shanghai were disrupted, leaving over 20 thousand passengers on foot.

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