24 mln Chinese affected by floods in July

24 mln Chinese affected by floods in July

BEIJING, July 20 (FENA/Xinhua) — Some 23.86 million residents have been affected by heavy floods in 24 provincial-level regions across China since the start of July, the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) said Sunday.

Floods in regions including Jiangxi, Anhui, Hubei and Hunan have left 31 people dead or missing, and forced the evacuation of around 2.04 million people, it said.

About 151,000 houses were damaged, and direct economic losses amounted to 64.39 billion yuan (about 9.19 billion U.S. dollars).

The number of people dead or missing due to the floods was 82 percent lower than the average for the same period of the past five years, while direct economic losses dropped 5.9 percent, according to the MEM.

Since June, continuous downpours have lashed large parts of southern China, and the water in many rivers in the affected regions has exceeded warning levels.