At least 14 people have been killed and 72 others reported missing in torrential rains in China’s northern Hebei Province that prompted authorities to evacuate 1.23 lakh people.
The bureau has received reports that floods and landslides have destroyed more than 7,100 houses.
More than 1.99 million people in 11 cities in Hebei were affected and 1.23 lakh people evacuated due to heavy rain since Wednesday, local officials said.
The rain also damaged crops on 1.48 million hectares of farmland and disrupted traffic, power and communications. At least 14 people have been killed and 72 others reported missing in torrential rains in the province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
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Relief goods have been sent to the worst-hit cities including Handan, Xingtai and the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang.
The National Commission for Disaster Relief and the Ministry of Civil Affairs have sent work groups to assist the disaster relief work, the report said. President Xi Jinping has urged for efforts to control and fight floods, stressing that people’s safety should be the top priority.
Heavy rain has battered China since June and is expected to batter more regions in which 300 killed and over 170 missing.
While inspecting northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Xi said at a symposium that Communist Party of China committees and governments at various levels should strengthen leadership over flood control and relief work.
He underscored effective organisation of rescue teams, relocation and resettlement of people in flood-threatened areas, and supplies.
Those whose dereliction of duty results in heavy casualties and property loss will be held accountable, Xi said.
Xi also highlighted close monitoring of weather changes and rainfall, better analysis of the flood situation, prompt issuance of early warnings, and the timely launch of emergency response measures.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as well as armed police should “play the role of commandos” in the fight against flood, Xi said, adding localities and departments should support the PLA and armed police in their endeavour.