China flood death toll declined in 2012

Jan. 5, 2013 at 1:20 PM

BEIJING, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Far fewer people were killed in floods in China last year than in earlier years, officials said Saturday.

Zhang Zhitong, head of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, said there were 673 confirmed dead around the country with 159 people missing, Xinhua, the official government news agency, reported.

"The death toll was about half the average number seen in the previous years," Zhang said.

There were serious floods in 2012 on the Yellow River and the upper reaches of the Yangtze, as well as on the Hai River, which flows through Beijing and empties into the Yellow Sea.

Serious flooding affected 184 cities and 120 million people, Zhang said.

Combined economic losses from both flooding and drought totaled 321 billion yuan ($51.5 billion).

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