The Heat Is Online

34 Die in Flash Flood in China

China flash floods kill 34 in parched Gansu Reuters News Service, PlanetArk, June 6, 2000

BEIJING - Torrential rains caused flash floods that killed 34 people in the northwestern province of Gansu, one of China's driest and poorest regions, a local official said yesterday.

The rains on May 31, the heaviest in the remote region in 150 years, injured 28 people and left more than 700 families homeless in the Gansu district of Danchang, the official said. He said floodwaters inundated most farmland and damaged houses.

State media warned on Monday that communities along China's major rivers should prepare for heavy rains during the summer rainy season, with a high potential for flooding across northern China in the coming three months.

The China Daily quoted Water Resources Minister Wang Shucheng as saying areas within the Yellow River, Huaihe and Yangtze River systems could get between two and four times average rain this summer.

The flood warning was issued amid a drought affecting the half of China north of the Yangtze that officials have described as the worst in 10 years.

The drought has prompted the Beijing government to draw up a water rationing plan for is 12 million residents. The China Daily said authorities in the Chinese capital would unveil a new pricing system designed to promote water conservation.