China flood toll rises to 175 dead, more rain forecast

Chinese floods BEIJING — Torrential rains battering south and central China have left 175 people dead and forced the evacuation of 1.7 million, as washed out roads and railways hampered rescue work Monday.

Premier Wen Jiabao called for greater efforts to battle flooding that has also left 107 people missing since June 13, as more rains are forecast in the next few days, the government said.

"In the coming days another round of heavy rain will hit areas in the south. We are facing a bigger test, so we need to make better preparations to avoid disaster," Wen said on state television.

"We are in a crucial period. We must be fully prepared and step up organisation of disaster response work," he said on a visit to the water-logged region of Guangxi.

The torrential rains and flooding have affected over 25 million people and caused 29.6 billion yuan (4.3 billion dollars) in estimated economic losses, the Civil Affairs Ministry said.

The ministry’s latest death toll was up from the 147 dead and 93 missing reported on Sunday


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