Death toll rises to 17 in China flash flooding

by IANS |

Beijing, Aug 19 (IANS) The death toll after a flash flood in China's Qinghai province has increased to 17, with another 17 people still missing, local authorities have confirmed.

Twenty people who were previously reported as missing have been rescued and some 4,500 firefighters, policemen, servicemen, emergency response personnel and local residents were carrying out search and rescue operations, Xinhua news agency quoted a top provincial official as saying.

The heavy rain, that stared at 10.25 p.m. Wednesday, lashed Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County in the provincial capital Xining.

By Thursday, the downpours triggered flash floods, mudslides and caused rivers to change courses.

A total of 6,245 residents in six villages have been affected, as at least two buildings were washed away and 14 others were seriously damaged.

Ma Mingxu, head of the county government, said temporary shelters had been established at two schools to accommodate more than 1,200 people.

The Ministries of Finance and Emergency Management have jointly earmarked 50 million yuan ($7) of natural disaster relief funds, as well as another 50 million yuan from the provincial department of finance.

The funds will be used for emergency rescue and disaster relief efforts, focusing on searching, rescuing and relocating the disaster-stricken people, secondary disaster detection, the repair of damaged houses, and other aspects.

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