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Landslides in China kill 12

Landslides triggered by torrential rain in southern China killed at least 12 people.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Landslides triggered by torrential rain in southern China killed at least 12 people and injured 24, while residents in another province escaped unhurt after the bank of a river collapsed and flooded nearby villages, the government said Friday.

The landslides occurred Thursday in Wuzhou, a city in the Guangxi region, during nine hours of heavy downpour, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The rain began Wednesday and caused a series of landslides that collapsed 1,195 houses, Xinhua said. Some 14,929 people were evacuated, it said.

In Fujian province, also in the south, the bank of a rain-swollen river collapsed Thursday and flooded 11 villages filled with sleeping people. “No injuries were discovered and water levels were receding,” Xinhua said Friday. The breech has been plugged, it said.

The disasters come amid what the government says is the worst summer flooding in parts of China in three decades.

At least 55 people have been killed and 12 are missing in Fujian and two other provinces since late May from heavy rains that have caused floods and landslides and washed away part of a rail-link between Beijing and Hong Kong.

Across southern China, at least 378,000 people have already been evacuated from the provinces of Fujian, Guangdong and Guizhou due to floods prompted by an unusually heavy seasonal monsoon, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

China suffers hundreds of deaths every year in floods set off during the June-to-August rainy season, although the season’s first storm arrived unusually early this year.

The rains played havoc on transportation, flooding streets and requiring thousands of police and military officers to evacuate residents by boat.