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China Flood Death Toll Rises Along With Questions Over Infrastructure

china-flood-death-toll-rises-along-with-questions-over-infrastructure

HONG KONG—The death toll from severe floods in central China rose to at least 33 people, local authorities said, as they grappled with the fallout from record rainstorms and faced questions over their new flood-management infrastructure.

At least eight people remained missing as of early Thursday after rain storms started pelting the city of Zhengzhou and surrounding parts of Henan province late last week, Chinese state media said, citing the provincial emergency-management department.

The floods have affected more than three million people across Henan and forced the relocation of hundreds of thousands of people, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Some 215,000 hectares of crops (about 531,000 acres) have been hit and economic losses so far were estimated at 1.22 billion yuan, the equivalent of $188.6 million, Xinhua said.

Henan’s meteorological agency forecast significant rainfall, including heavy rain and thunderstorms, through Thursday over large parts of the province and its capital of Zhengzhou.

One of China’s most populous and poorest provinces, Henan is home to more than 99 million residents and an economy reliant on agriculture and industry. Local authorities say the extreme rainfall that has battered the region since last week was unusually severe and may have been exacerbated by a typhoon approaching China’s eastern coastline.

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