China downpours unleash mudslides killing at least 94

June 12, 2011 07:07

BEIJING - Torrential rains battering central and southern China unleashed floods and landslides that killed at least 94 people, turning areas enduring drought just over a week ago into scenes of muddy destruction, local news reports said on Sunday.

In Yueyang in Hunan province in the south, weather stations recorded more than 200 millimetres (eight inches) of rain in six hours, the kind of downpour that strikes once every 300 years, the China News Service reported, citing local weather officials.

In Maojiazu Village in Yueyang, the pelting downpours triggered a mudslide that crushed 24 homes and killed at least 20 residents, with another seven missing under boulders and mud, most likely dead, the Xinhua news agency reported.

"The concentrated scope, intensity and short duration of these recent rains have caused grave casualties and damage to property in some areas," said Chen Lei, the Minister of Water Resources who also oversees the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, according to a report on its website.

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