China floods play havoc as millions displaced
BEIJING: (APP) Torrential rain lashing northern China in the past week has left nearly 300 people dead or missing and displaced hundreds of thousands, official media reported Monday.
As of Monday morning more than half a million people in the hardest-hit provinces of Henan and Hebei had been displaced, with 125,000 people in urgent need of basic assistance, said Xinhua news agency, citing the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The storms have left 164 dead and 125 missing, it added.
Five officials had been suspended as of Monday for dereliction of duty during a devastating flash flood last week near the town of Xingtai in Hebei.
The incident, which left at least 25 dead and 13 missing, provoked outrage. Locals accused authorities of failing to warn them of the impending deluge and trying to cover up the cause of the disaster.
Flooding is not uncommon during the summer monsoon season in northern
China, but rain has been unusually heavy across the country this summer.
Earlier this month heavy downpours wreaked havoc in central and southern China, flooding several major cities and causing over 200 deaths.
In the summer of 2012 Beijing was lashed by the worst rains to hit the capital for more than 60 years and around 80 people were killed.