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More rain expected to fall on China's flood-stricken south

Nearly three million people affected as local economy estimated to take £400m hit

PARTS of southern China still cleaning up today after floods left at least 20 people dead or missing are forecast to be hit by more rain in the coming days.

Nearly three million people have been affected by the deluge, with 228,000 forced to seek shelter and 1,300 homes destroyed, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

Direct economic losses are estimated at more than £394 million, the ministry said.

While damage has been concentrated in Hunan province and the Guangxi region, authorities were monitoring the situation in the Yangtze River city of Wuhan, where the global coronavirus pandemic began, Vice Minister of Water Resources Ye Jianchun said at a briefing yesterday.

Guangxi’s crucial tourism sector, already hit hard by the pandemic, has suffered further losses from the floods.

In the picturesque town of Yangshuo, famed for its river scenery and karst outcrops, streets were flooded and tourists had to be evacuated on bamboo rafts.

The county government said that more than 1,000 hotels and other guest accommodation suffered water damage, as did 5,000 shops.

Firefighters and other public-service workers pitched in, helping to clear debris and spray disinfectant, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Seasonal flooding regularly strikes the lower regions of China’s major river systems, particularly those of the Yangtze and the Pearl to the south.

Authorities have sought to mitigate the damage through the use of dams, particularly the massive Three Gorges structure on the Yangtze.

China’s worst floods in recent years were in 1998, when more than 2,000 people died and almost three million homes were destroyed.

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