China's rain-related disaster toll rises

July 2, 2013 at 1:49 AM

BEIJING, July 2 (UPI) -- China's heavy weekend rains and related disasters have left at least 39 dead and another 13 missing, officials said.

The regions worst hit by the torrential rains and resulting floods and landslides are Inner Mongolia, eastern Anhui and central Hubei provinces, Xinhua News Agency reported, quoting the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Several other regions also have been affected including southwest Sichuan province and neighboring Chongqing municipality.

In Sichuan province alone, the rains and flooding have affected 2.44 million people and forced the evacuation of 119,500 people, the ministry said. More than 5,600 homes have been destroyed and another 10,000 damaged.

Soldiers used inflatable motorboats to rescue trapped villagers, the report said.

Weather forecasters said heavy rains were expected to hit north and southwest China over the next three days.

Meanwhile, Rumbia, the sixth tropical storm to hit China this year, was expected to head toward Guangdong and Hainan provinces after entering the South China Sea.

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