| GEO World|
| China floods toll touches 200, 123 Missing|
| Updated at: 1147 PST, Wednesday, June 23, 2010|
BEIJING: The death toll in landslides and floods triggered by persistent rainstorms in southern China over the past week crossed 200, besides affecting over 29 million persons in ten provinces, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.
In eastern Fujian province alone, 76 persons were killed and 79 reported missing, official media reports said in Beijing.
The heavy rains and floods have also left 123 persons missing in southern China as relief workers battled to save thousands of individuals stranded in Fuzhou city in east China's Jiangxi province after the dike at a section of the Fuhe River burst Tuesday evening at 6:30 p m (1030 GMT) and threatening nearly 80,000 residents.
An estimated 68,000 of the 100,000 persons living near the river were evacuated by Tuesday morning, said local disaster relief officials.
Meanwhile, China's President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao Tuesday called for all-out efforts to combat the floods and save lives.
The downpour that began June 13 triggered flash floods, inundated rivers and cropland, besides disrupting traffic and telecommunication facilities in large swathes of southern China causing estimated economic losses of up to 42.12 billion yuan ($6.7 bn) and forcing the evacuation of 2.38 million persons.
The Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters (SFCDRH) said 195,000 homes were damaged, while 68,000 houses collapsed under the impact of the rains and 1.6 million hectares of crops were destroyed, the official news agency, said.