China braces for more storms; 121 dead or missing this year

BEIJING: A wide swath of southern China braced Sunday for more seasonal rains and flooding that state media said has already left more than 120 people dead or missing this year.

The National Meteorological Center raised the weather alert to yellow Sunday morning, the third-highest of four warning levels, for more than half a dozen provinces and the cities of Shanghai and Chongqing. Heavy to torrential rains were forecast into Monday afternoon.

Footage on state broadcaster CCTV showed flooded streets and farmland in Anhui province. To the south in Jiangxi province, more than 8,000 people have been evacuated and 54 houses collapsed after rainstorms in recent days, the network said.

Nationwide, flooding-related disasters have destroyed 17,000 homes, caused 41.6 billion yuan ($5.9 billion) in economic losses and left 121 people dead or missing so far this year, the official People's Daily newspaper said in a social media post, citing the Ministry of Emergency Management.

The National Meteorological Center said some parts of Anhui, Hubei, Hunan and Zhejiang provinces could see 100 to 230 mm (4 to 9 inches) of rain. It also issued a yellow alert for rain in two northeastern provinces, Heilongjiang and Jilin.