BEIJING, June 10 (UPI) -- Major flooding, which has already taken a big toll in the south and east of China, has hit the central region, previously in the grip of a severe drought.
At least 18 people were confirmed dead and another 100 injured as torrential rains Thursday and Friday lashed central China, especially Hubei province, triggering heavy flooding, local authorities said.
The disaster added to the death toll from flooding in the south and east, where at least 54 people have been confirmed dead, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The rains and floods in Hubei province toppled homes and destroyed embankments at reservoirs and rivers in three counties, relief agencies said.
Tongcheng County had received nearly a foot of rain, a 200-year record, and the entire county remained underwater Friday with the floodwater level topping 6.5 feet in several places, the report said.
The flooding knocked out power supplies, telecommunications and other essential services and forced evacuation of hundreds of people.
In Chibi county, which also reported widespread damage, about 110,000 people had been evacuated.
Flooding in 12 provinces in the region has affected nearly 5 million people, officials said.
The only silver lining is that the rains brought much needed relief to the drought-hit middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.