21 missing after China floods

A landslide caused by rains in southern China left 21 people missing today, adding to a growing death toll from China’s worst flood season in a decade, which is expected to worsen with heavy rains forecast across the country.

Rescuers searched for 21 people missing after a landslide in Hanyuan County in China’s southern province of Sichuan this morning, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Rocks and mud buried 58 homes and about 4,000 villagers were evacuated from their homes.

Floods this year already killed at least 823 people, left 437 missing and caused tens of billions of dollars in damage, the State Flood Control and Drought Prevention reported.

It said two dozen major rivers rose beyond their warning levels, with workers scrambling to sandbag riverbanks along the Yellow, Jialing, Han, Huai and Yangtze rivers to prevent further flooding, the report said.

Water levels along the middle reaches of the Huai River, notorious for flooding, were five feet above its warning level in the provinces of Anhui and Henan.

Three-quarters of China’s provinces have been plagued by flooding and 25 rivers have seen record-high water levels, the Flood Prevention Agency said.

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