Floods kill more than 400 in China

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The Independent Online
Peking (Reuter) - Southern China mopped up yesterday after some of the worst floods in a century killed more than 400 people, with farmers replanting crops and troops buttressing river embankments.

With the death toll at least 405 in six provinces and expected to rise as more bodies were dug out from landslides or found in collapsed homes, officials were on alert for more storms as the annual typhoon season neared.

Workers building the world's biggest water control project, the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze river, took precautions in case of flooding and opened sluices to reduce the water level, state television said.

"Crops have suffered some serious damage and in some areas are still swamped by water," said an official of the Chinese Red Cross. "There will be some partial grain shortages in disaster areas in the next one or two months and we are planning to transport grain to those areas."

Officials estimated damage from floods that have hit the provinces of Hubei, Guizhou, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi and Guangxi at over $2bn with 3.3 million acres and 20 million people affected.