Severe Floods in China’s Northern Province Killed 29 and Caused Tens of Billions of Economic Losses

BEIJING (AP) — Severe floods in China’s northern province of Hebei brought by remnants of Typhoon Doksuri this month killed at least 29 people and caused billions of dollars in economic losses, its provincial government said Friday.

Official news agency Xinhua reported that rescue crews were still searching for 16 missing people as of Thursday and the province’s reconstruction is expected to take two years to complete. Initial estimates showed the province’s direct economic losses amounted to 95.8 billion yuan ($13.2 billion), state media China News Service said.

Official preliminary estimates announced Friday showed 3.9 million residents, or about 5% of the province’s population, were being affected by the floods and more than 40,000 houses were collapsed, China News Service said. A further 155,500 houses and other facilities that provided electricity and communications were seriously damaged, it added.

More than 1.75 million residents have been relocated.

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Repairs to damaged power cables and other facilities were underway Friday. According to Xinhua, the government pledged to ensure affected residents can move back to their homes or have new homes before winter.

Earlier this week, officials said the death toll from recent flooding in Beijing rose to 33 and it could take up to three years to restore services completely, given the level of damage.

The Chinese government on Friday has further allocated 1.46 billion yuan ($202 million) of disaster relief funds to support flood-stricken regions, including Beijing and Tianjin, state media CCTV reported. This brought the total amount of the relief funds to 7.74 billion yuan ($1.07 billion), it added.

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