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Dozens killed, vast tracts of farmland destroyed as massive calamity strikes China

Beijing: The death toll from torrential rains in central China’s Henan province has risen to 33, with seven people missing. Local authorities have confirmed this. Since July 16, more than 1.2 million people have been affected by excessive rain in 89 counties, cities and districts.

About 1,64,710 people have been evacuated to safer places, Xinhua news agency quoted Xu Zhong, director of the office of Henan Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, as saying on Wednesday.

This natural disaster has damaged 75,000 hectares of crops, resulting in direct economic losses of about 542 million yuan ($83 million). Due to the rain, water levels in nine large reservoirs and 40 medium-sized reservoirs in Henan have crossed the flood danger mark. At the same time, many rivers have also been flooded.

Incessant rains have caused severe flooding in the provincial capital Zhengzhou, shutting down subway operations and severely affecting railway, road and air transport. Rescue efforts are on. 

Meanwhile, the Central Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has sent more than 5,700 soldiers, armed police troops and militias to assist with rescue operations in more than 30 dangerous sections. On Thursday, the provincial meteorology forecast more torrential rain in Henan until 2 pm.

The Meteorological Department has forecast rain for the next three days. 617.1 mm from Saturday to Tuesday in Zhengzhou. It has rained till now. This is an average of 640.8 mm for the whole year. Almost equal to rain. Such rain has happened after thousand years.

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