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130,000 evacuated in China flooding

The worst flooding in southern China in nearly half a century forced the evacuation of 130,000 villagers, the state media said, as the number of people killed this week by floods and landslides across Asia climbed to nearly 140.

Heavy rains lashed the island province of Hainan, forcing 550 villages to evacuate and leaving thousands homeless, streets flooded and roads damaged, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

At least 7 inches (18 centimetres) of rain fell in 16 cities over the past week, the Hainan provincial government website said. More rains and strong winds are expected on Friday.

Meanwhile, villagers in neighbouring Vietnam began to return home as the death toll from this week's heavy flooding rose to 48, with 23 others missing.

In the worst-hit province of Quang Binh, 33 people died and 19 others were missing, said disaster official Nguyen Ngoc Giai. About 20,000 people were evacuated from their flooded homes in the area.

Elsewhere in Vietnam, 48 people died and 23 were still missing, according to the national floods and storms control committee.

Further south in Indonesia, rescuers searching for survivors cleared away debris in the hardest-hit village of Wasior where residents had been washed away early this week when a river burst its banks. Rescue efforts were hindered after floods blocked off roads and damaged bridges.

Ninety-one bodies had been pulled from the mud and the wreckage of crumpled homes, said Dortheis Sawaki, who heads West Papua's relief operations' office, adding that with more than 100 others reported missing the toll was expected to rise.

More than 150 others have been taken to hospitals with injuries, most with broken bones.


From Belfast Telegraph